Foster + Partners has revealed designs for Lusail Towers, a sustainable landmark project in Qatar that targets 4 stars in the regional Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS). Created as part of a larger Qatari masterplan, also designed by Foster + Partners, the 1.1 million-square-meter Lusail Towers development will consist of a pair of 70-story-tall towers and two 50-story-tall towers in a symmetrical layout centered on a plaza. All towers will employ active and passive systems to reduce the project’s energy demand and carbon footprint, from solar fins that protect against the harsh sunlight to high-pressure hydronic systems that reduce pumping energy.
Designed to anchor a new central business district in the city, the Lusail Towers will host the headquarters for the Qatar National Bank, Qatar Central Bank and Qatar Investment Authority alongside other international organizations such as Qatari Diar. The cluster of four climate-responsive towers will be complemented by a series of smaller podium buildings that help break down the project to a comfortable human scale and engage the streetscape with shops, cafes and restaurants. The public realm at the ground level will be further enhanced with lush, drought-tolerant and majority native landscaping that will cover 20% of the site. Graywater, rainwater and condensate will be recycled and reused for irrigation.
Like the towers, the podium buildings are engineered for a reduced energy footprint and will feature molded concrete panels for enhanced thermal mass and minimal punched windows to reduce unwanted solar gain. The rounded towers will be clad in marine-grade aluminum fitted with solar fins for shade. Demand-controlled ventilation, centralized thermal storage, efficient LEDs and advanced automation controls are expected to reduce site energy demand by 35% as compared to a baseline building.
“Environmental design was a key driver in the design,” said Piers Heath, Head of Environmental Engineering at Foster + Partners. “The morphing form was based on numerous studies and options with the aim of limiting solar exposure. The twisting shading fins were then developed to offer an optimal outer solar shade, along with an inherent reduction in exposed glazing. Coupled with carefully configured systems design, the project has lower energy use and carbon emissions when compared to similar scale projects in the region.”
Images via Foster + Partners