This unusual medical center planned for Al Ain, the fourth largest city in the United Arab Emirates, includes a large tower wrapped in a transforming veil that helps balance the region’s dramatic thermal fluctuations. Architecture firm Philippe Barriere Collective (PB+Co) designed the development as a state-of-the-art combination of Western and alternative medicine, nature preservation practices and technology.
The Al Ain municipality wanted to create an iconic project that would embody the idea of progress in environmental sciences, green technology and medical treatment deeply connected to nature. The resulting design includes a Chelation Clinic, Integrated Dental Domes, a Healing Clinic and individual bungalows as patients’ private residences.
The complex will overlook Al Ain Lake, the shores of which are planted with a variety of species that attract birds, fish, and reptiles, among other animals, and acts as a model of biodiversity. This area is also meant to be used for patient rehabilitation and healing. The tower is wrapped in a skin-like layer that expands and contracts to control temperature and shading by creating an internal buffer air zone that can increase in size or retract.