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Foster + Partners’ Index Tower Takes Top Honors for Keeping its Cool in the Dubai Sun
The 80 story mixed-use building, located in the heart of Dubai, holds 47 floors of apartments up top and 25 floors of offices below. The energy needed to keep all of those occupants cooled has been greatly reduced by careful planning — starting with orientation. The east and west sides are designed to be narrow in order to keep the low sun from penetrating the interior.
The south side is covered in shade-providing overhangs that run the entire length of the façade, blocking any direct sunlight. The shallow profile and column-less interior allows the office spaces to still receive natural light throughout. The ceilings rise at the windows to allow the upper glazing’s illumination to penetrate further into the interior. The shaded entrance is surrounded by a large water feature that cools the lobby and grounds, which sit directly beneath the bulk of the tower, suspended above the ground by its massive a-frame columns.
Famed architect and juror Werner Sobek notes “The Index presents a new environmental icon for the Middle East, showcasing important passive strategies of orientation, core placement and shading.”
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