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Qatar Sprouts a Towering Cactus Skyscraper

Posted By Bridgette Meinhold On March 17, 2009 @ 6:56 pm In Architecture,biomimicry,Sustainable Building | 4 Comments

cactus skyscraper, desert architecture, sustainable architecture, green building, green design, quatar cactus building, aesthetics architects go group, minister of municipal affairs and agriculture, sun shades, biomimicry [1]

The Minister of Municipal Affairs & Agriculture [2] (MMAA) in Qatar is getting a brand new office building that takes the form of a towering cactus [3]. Designed by Bangkok [4]-based [5]Aesthetics Architects [5], the modern office and adjoining botanical dome take cues from cacti and the way that they successfully survive in hot, dry environments.

cactus skyscraper, desert architecture, sustainable architecture, green building, green design, quatar cactus building, aesthetics architects go group, minister of municipal affairs and agriculture, sun shades, biomimicry

Qatar is fairly barren, covered by sand, and receives and average annual rainfall of 3.2 inches [6]. Since Qatar has the highest GDP in the world [7], they can afford to construct spectacular buildings that can be very efficient in the hot desert environment. Aesthetics Architects GO Group decided to model the MMA’s new office upon the cactus [8], taking inspiration from the way these plants deal with the scorching desert climate.

cactus skyscraper, desert architecture, sustainable architecture, green building, green design, quatar cactus building, aesthetics architects go group, minister of municipal affairs and agriculture, sun shades, biomimicry

An excellent example of desert architecture [9], MMA’s new building is designed be very energy efficient and utilizes sun shades [10] on its windows. Depending on the intensity of the sun during the day, the sun shades can open or close to keep out the heat when it is too much. This is similar to how a cactus chooses to perform transpiration at night rather during the day in order to retain water – another great example of biomimicry [11]. The botanic dome at the base of the tower will house a botanical garden. Hopefully it will include an edible garden [12] and a living machine [13] as well.

+ Aesthetics Architects GO Group [5]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/qatar-cactus-office-building/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/?p=21114

[2] Minister of Municipal Affairs & Agriculture: http://www.mmaa.gov.qa/english/

[3] cactus: http://www.inhabitat.com/2006/11/07/urban-cactus-building/

[4] Bangkok: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/03/06/prefab-friday-site-specific-thai-family/

[5] : http://www.aesarch.com/main/profile.php

[6] 3.2 inches: http://www.qatarembassy.net/environment.asp

[7] highest GDP in the world: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/qa.html

[8] cactus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cactus

[9] desert architecture: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/10/23/desert-architecture-by-binary-design-studio/

[10] sun shades: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/02/05/blight-blinds-by-vincent-gerkens/

[11] biomimicry: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/11/26/ask-nature-biomimicry-directory/

[12] edible garden: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/02/16/dystopian-farm-by-eric-vergne/

[13] living machine: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/08/06/living-machines-turning-wastewater-clean-with-plants/

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