A Museum With Wings

Watch me figure the Zayed National Museum out: its metallic sails are obviously supposed to represent the wingtips of some enormous super-insect whose head happens to be burrowed underground while it's taking a nap.

OK, no, that's not quite right, but it's close! The museum, a monument to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding president of the UAE, is supposed to reflect Sheikh Zayed's love of nature, its wings a nod to one of Zayed's favourite pastimes: falconry. Hey, see, I wasn't that far off. And the wings don't just look cool, they keep things cool, too:

The towers heat up and act as thermal chimneys to draw cooling air currents naturally through the museum. Fresh air is captured at low level and drawn through buried ground-cooling pipes and then released into the museum's lobby. The heat at the top of the towers works to draw the air up vertically through the galleries due to the thermal stack effect. Air vents open at the top of the wing-shaped towers taking advantage of the negative pressure on the lee of the wing profile to draw the hot air out.

The museum is currently under construction on Saadiyat Island, just outside of Abu Dhabi, and will eventually house shops, cafes, performance venues and more. Here's what it'll look like during the daytime.

And from the back:

Hopefully it stays grounded. [ArchDaily]

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