Form truly follows function when it comes to the façade of the lean green O-14 (pronounced “oh-14″) office tower which broke ground this past December in Dubai. At 22 stories tall, the 300,000 square-foot commercial tower’s most unique feature is its façade, which is made of 16″ thick concrete containing over 1,000 circular openings.
Designed by RUR Architecture, the building’s façade perforations serve as a solar screen, letting in light, air, and views through to the interior occupants. The one-meter space between the façade and the building’s glass surface also yields a chimney effect causing hot air to rise, creating an efficient passive cooling system. The façade also serves as a structural exoskeleton, absorbing all of the tower’s lateral forces and acting as a physical barrier for the building’s window wall.
The Architects Jesse Reiser and Nanoko Umemoto of RUR Architecture designed O-14 in collaboration with developer Shahab Lutfi. The result was a fruitful relationship between developer and architect- both Reiser and Umemoto comment on the significance of their working relationship with Lutfi, with particular regard to his outlook and enthusiasm for innovative architecture.
Dubai is fast becoming the global leader of bizarre upscale developments — for more interesting Dubai architecture, check out the rotating solar tower, and the floating mosque and floating communities which are currently being developed.