Apple pulled out all the stops for their glamorous new store in Dubai. Designed by Foster + Partners, the recently completed Apple Dubai Mall is unlike any mall we’ve seen before with its giant “Solar Wings” that open and close in a beautiful choreographed display. The kinetic art installation, which ranks among the world’s largest, helps to create an engaging civic space, while providing an innovative response to the culture and climate of the Emirates.
Located next to the iconic Burj Khalifa, the two-story Apple Store overlooks the famous Dubai Fountains through its 186-foot-wide and 18-foot-deep terrace. The architects drew inspiration from the traditional Arabic Mashrabiya, or decorative screens, to create the perforated “Solar Wings” that shade the outdoor terrace during the day and open up at night. The wings are made from layers of lightweight carbon fiber mesh and arranged in patterns that minimize solar heat radiation, according to the architect’s solar studies.
“The opening and closing of these majestic Solar Wings is analogous to a delicate ballet recital – but on a monumental scale,” said Stefan Behling, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners. “In some ways it is a very spiritual experience, with the sun streaming through them and creating the most delicate and beautiful patterns of light and shade – a seamless blend of technology and culture.” The shaded terrace features nine large trees with integrated seating. The tree planters rotate mechanically to ensure optimal sunlight conditions for the trees.
Images via Foster + Partners