Two sister Middle Eastern media companies have commissioned REX to design a conjoined headquarters that references traditional Arab iconography. The result, two ultra-thin, stone-clad towers that are shielded from the Middle East’s “unrelenting sun” by an array of retractable sunshades whose shape was inspired by the Arab Mashrabiya pattern.
Measuring nearly 15 meters in diameter, these sunshades can be quickly deployed, transforming the building’s glass facade into a “blossoming” shaded tower within minutes.
“The headquarters’ instantaneous transformation forges a new kind of powerful iconography, one that rejects the tired—and ephemeral—pursuit of being the tallest,” described REX.
When shade is not an issue, the towers' translucent exterior is designed to have an x-ray effect that exposes the structure’s unique components to its surroundings.
From afar, the towers' form a jumbo television screen, broadcasting the companies’ content to their environs in real-time.
The simple tower slabs also effectively create a huge sun screen for their adjoining landscapes. The shadow path on the Summer Solstice defines the extents of inhabitable courtyards, which are exposed when in shadow and covered by 6 meter square, retractable umbrellas when in sunlight.
Once complete, offices will be stacked above broadcast and news studios at the top half of the tower. The lower portion will be dedicated to common facilities, including an agora, amphitheater, auditorium, café, canteen, employee lounge, executive lounge, fine dining, gallery, health club, majlis, and theater.
Large studios, which require permanent blackout, are submerged below grade.
Key PersonnelAlberto Cumerlato, Tomas Janka, Gabriel Jewell-Vitale, Roberto Otero, Joshua Prince-Ramus, Aude Soffer, Alex Tehranian, Cristina Webb
ConsultantsBarker Mohandas, Front, Magnuson Klemencic, !melk, str.ucture, Transsolar