At first glance, Graft Lab‘s dazzling complex in Dubai may appear to have a cluster of sparkling geometric pools at its base. But upon further inspection, the web-like structures are actually something even more desirable than a place to take a dip in the hot desert – a means of collecting the scorching rays of the sun and transforming them into energy. Dubbed the Vertical Village, this multi-use building and accompanying massive array of solar collectors was designed to work smarter, not harder, which is expected to earn it a LEED Gold certification when it is completed.
The architects at Graft Lab (also responsible for the unique and ethereal Bird Island) must have been taking good notes in their LEED classes because the Vertical Village incorporates the most basic mantras of energy-efficiency in hot climates: reducing solar gain and maximizing solar production. Each hockey-stick-shaped building within the village is self-shading on its north side and on the east-west axis to reduce long-angle sun penetration. A massive bed of solar collectors lies at the south end of the complex and has the ability to automatically position itself toward the sun to maximize solar-energy aggregation. The roof of the village has veins like a leaf which can break up the solar field into smaller, more manageable portions.
Aside from its energy-harvesting features, the Vertical Village is also quite breathtaking to behold. The way that the buildings have been sliced and tilted gives each one a unique, futuristic look. Residents and visitors will be able to take full advantage of hotels, cinemas, restaurants, shops and a theater.