A lot to consider
Parametric modelling was essential to determine the final position, size and dimensions of the Arabic lettering on each panel to ensure it offered optimum balance between natural light, solar heat gain and air conditioning load without compromising its architectural aesthetic.
The low-carbon project features passive solar architecture through its extraordinary façade, as well as low-energy and low-water engineering solutions with integrated renewable capabilities.
Translating the artistic and symbolic concepts inherent in the design into a 30,000m² (approx.) building clad in stainless steel was always going to be a challenge.
Add to that the building’s unique torus shape, the owner’s (the Dubai Future Foundation) requirement to attain LEED Platinum status, and the team’s determination to embrace BIM at every stage of design and construction, then clearly, the building’s centre void was not the only aspect of this project that represents a step into the unknown.
The bigger picture
Specialist engineers developed bespoke in-house optimisation routines to model and analyse numerous options for the structure to achieve the Museum of the Future’s iconic shape.
The outcome was a solution comprised of a complex diagrid framework directly aligned to torus shape and capable of supporting the 890 stainless steel and glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) panels that form the intricate silvery facade.
Working in a BIM environment also proved invaluable in working towards achieving the LEED Platinum accreditation stipulated by the owner.
The architects created a 3D energy model in which all 12 disciplines could interact in real time, agreeing more than 50 sustainable design decisions that resulted in a range of tangible benefits including a 45% reduction in water use and total energy savings of 25%.
The installation period for the façade lasted around 18 months.
Essentially, the structure is an architectural marvel, built by using robotic technology and with an emphasis on sustainability – the building is powered with 4,000 megawatts of solar energy. The pillarless building accommodates seven unique and distinct floors.