The Institut du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute, for you non-Francophones) is a 19-nation cultural consortium with incredible architectural bragging rights. Merging traditional Arab patterns with clever engineering, its south-facing wall dilates thousands of apertures to control sunlight exposure.
The automated wall of the Institute, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, broadens and narrows entirely on its own - just like the human eye - corresponding with the rising and setting sun. The result? Dazzling interior lighting patterns and a no-fuss way of keeping cool during the day. [Inhabitat]