Responsive Facade

There are instances of innovation in architecture that have a technological connection to the past.  The façade of the Al Bahar Towers in Abu Dhabi utilize new technologies to respond to the environment while drawing inspiration from classic forms.  The responsive façade combats the heat and glare of the desert climate by adjusting itself to open and close depending on the conditions throughout the day.    The geometry of this adaptive system is based on the traditional mashrabiya lattice that is prevalent in classic Islamic architecture.  The evocative form seems appropriate considering the location of the project and provides a technological connection between material technologies and the history of architecture.  The transformative nature of this system, both figuratively and literally, are not only visually aesthetic but are environmentally minded as well in its design.The responsive façade is expected to reduce solar gain by over fifty percent to increase the comfort of its inhabitants and reduce cooling needs.  However, this figure is only an estimate and may vary considerably considering that the structure was only recently completed in June.  Measurements and analysis of its actual effectiveness will provide interesting insight as to whether it is truly a sustainable design decision or merely a beautiful component of the towers.  Overall, the responsive façade provides an example of transformative design that  may be a proof of concept that other future structures in the area may follow.



Cilento , Karen . “Al Bahar Towers Responsive Facade / Aedas” 05 Sep 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 07 Sep 2012. <;


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