Al Bahar Towers is 29-storey, 145m-high and located at the intersection of Al Saada and Al Salam Street in Abu Dhabi City, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, at the eastern entrance.
One of the twin skyscrapers, houses the new headquarters of the Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ADIC), an investment arm of the Government of Abu Dhabi. The other serves as the head office of Al Hilal Bank, a progressive and innovative Islamic Bank.
The distinguishing feature of the towers is their protective skin of 2,000 umbrella-like glass elements that automatically open and close depending on the intensity of sunlight, and that helps to reduce interior heat gain by around 50 per cent. An array of roof solar panels is also used to heat water.
Inspired by the ‘mashrabiya’, geometrically-designed wooden lattice screens that have been used to fill windows of traditional Arabic architecture since the 14th century, the ‘intelligent’ façade of the Al Bahr Towers is dynamically controlled by a building management system.
The eco-friendly towers are one of the Gulf’s first buildings to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver rating. They also came second at the Emporis Skyscraper Award – the world’s premier honorary event for high-rise architecture – for projects completed in 2012.
The development has also been featured on the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s “Innovative 20″ list of buildings that “challenge the typology of tall buildings in the 21st century”. Al Bahr Towers is designed by AHR (formerly Aedas UK), and constructed by Al-Futtaim Carillion, a Dubai-based provider of integrated solutions for infrastructure, building, and services.