Inspired by the architecture and planning of traditional Arab cities, Foster + Partners seamlessly combined ancient building techniques with modern technological advancements. Meshing these two distinct forms of design, they created a city in which tradition is as important as modernization.
Rising from the archetypical desert landscape are two opposing styles of buildings. Laboratories are housed in modern concrete structures covered in a strong translucent plastic called ethylene-tetrafluoroethylene topped with photovolactic panels. On the other hand, residential buildings are clad in an undulating terra-cotta-like latticework based on traditional Arabic mashrabiya screens that mimic an architectural vocabulary indigenous to the area.