Thousands of folding glass panels cover the southern facade of the Al Bahr Towers in Abu Dhabi (above). Reacting to sunlight, they form a protective skin to decrease interior solar gain. It’s a modern riff on the best known element of Arabic architecture, in play since the Middle Ages. Meet the modern mashrabiya.
Studio Cheha’s Nir Chehanowski has designed an extraordinary flat LED lamp that looks three dimensional. Called Bulbing, the lamp is made of high quality materials and manufactured locally in Tel Aviv. Find out how it works after the jump.
We don’t mean to pick on any one firm here, but a string of repetitive competition proposals has culminated most recently in the Central Bank of Libya design for Tripoli by Henning Larsen Architects. Although they and other foreign foreign firms are making an effort to be culturally relevant, how many desert-like “flowing facades” do we need?
Remember the old days in Beirut when you could actually see the Mediterranean Sea? The crew over at Najjar & Najjar Architects remember, and they want it back! Their Kinematic IRIS sea pods are designed to not only provide refuge for residents living in the shadow of urban regurgitation, but to generate energy as well.
Majlis are the boardrooms of the Arab world. A traditional ‘place of sitting’ often adorned with cushions on the floor, they are used to receive guests and exchange ideas. In the past, nomadic desert dwellers used special tents. Intercon takes a modern approach to this special meeting room with floating Majlis that are moved daily.
Plastic. No word assaults our sensibilities more. Plastic in the bellies of baby birds; plastic strangling marine animals; plastic leaching chemicals into our water supply. Plastic everywhere. But with Ooho, an edible water ‘bottle’ that just about anyone can make, we could get a handle on the plastic mess – at least a little one.
An invention that 3D prints buildings using sand as a raw material? We knew that someone would put Markus Keyser’s amazing solar sinter tool to good use! This conceptual tower featured above and conceived by a team of Chinese designers imagines a cluster of towers made of sand that are constructed with a solar-powered 3D-printer.
Saudi Arabia is building the world’s largest botanical gardens on nearly 2.5 million square meters of desert land near Riyadh. A stellar environmental initiative to educate the public on climate change, or a tourism-boosting novelty? However you dice it, it’s amazing.
The Alhambra palace and fortress in Granada, with its mesmerizing series of courtyards, gardens and vistas that turn light and shadow into toys, may be the Moors’ crowning achievement. But the world heritage site has become so popular, visitors must wait hours just to get inside. Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza hopes to change that.
Living large isn’t sustainable, at least that is what most green hearts tend to believe, but Sanzpont Arquitectura disagrees. Invited to participate in an international competition to design a private residence in Qatar, the studio came up with ‘A Palace for Nature’ – a magnificent solar-powered palace modeled after the sidra tree.
Enlisting the masses to save the bees, Open Tech Forever has developed a high tech CNC-cut hive that allows global citizens to keep an eye on our precious pollinators.
What’s it like to live on a boat? In such cramped spaces and always subject to nature’s whim, otherwise reasonable people can go mad if they don’t get cooperate. Acrojou explores the idea through a fascinating theatrical circus genre that is trending – even in Lebanon.
Middle East architects Raya Ani and Zayad Motlib first told us about their plans for Mesopotamian Marshlands ecosystem and community earlier this year, and now they’re presenting their ideas to the first AIA Middle East conference in Dubai.
A consortium of Japanese architects got together to protest Zaha Hadid’s winning design for the main stadium of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and despite all her fame and glory, the Japanese government listened.
A group of friends from Tel Aviv got so tired of lugging enormous locks to foil would-be bicycle thieves that they got together to design what may be the world’s only fashionable solution: the Foldylock.
Who isn’t in love with Moroccan decor – the amazing colors and designs that enliven any room? Well, Justina Blakeney certainly is. So much so, she decked out an entire AirBnB popup home in Los Angeles with decor from our favorite North African destination.
We love everything about Sukkot, especially the philosophy and process behind the inspiring sukkah (booth) that Jews build during this week-long Autumnal holiday. But we’ve never seen one on the back of a tricycle.
David Chipperfield Architects have designed a resplendent new building in fascinating, frustrating Morocco, which will house the The Marrakech Museum for Photography and Visual Arts - the largest of its kind in the world.
Japan has won the bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and Zaha Hadid has been picked to retrofit its National Stadium. First designed for the 1964 Summer Games, this new stadium boasts a few green credentials.
One of the world’s largest oil producers has just received LEED Platinum for its Al-Madra Tower in Saudi Arabia, highlighting the pitfalls of a system designed to recognize environmental stewardship.
It has been more than three years since France’s Pritzker prize winning architect Jean Nouvel won the bid to design a sparkling new art museum for Abu Dhabi, and now construction on the new Louvre has finally broken ground.
It was the first time that a team from Israel participated in a Solar Decathlon intercollegiate architecture competition but the group, which represented several higher education institutes, recently took fourth place overall in China.
Caravan Collective is a fresh new cycling apparel studio from Israel that fuses quirky graphic design with a passion for cycling, people, and the earth.
Onat Öktem, Ziya Imren and Zeynep Öktem are among the most exciting eco-minded architects working in Turkey, and Bird’s Nest is also among their most unique projects. Eschewing the bigger is better thought pattern, this solar-powered accessory dwelling “perches” on existing buildings to create extra space.
Dublin’s Heneghan Peng has designed a new museum for Palestine that is topped with a series of unfolding green terraces planted with vegetation that also grows in the surrounding hills.
The Dead Sea garnered international attention when photographer Spencer Tunick assembled a gang of naked nature enthusiasts for a controversial photo shoot, but the momentum has since died down. Paris-based Sitbon Architectes attempts to re-galvanize our attention with their award-winning design Cristal – The Dead Sea Gem.
Orlando De Urrutia has designed what he says is the world’s first building to get its water from the air. Called the Water Building Resort and powered by a facade of building integrated photovoltaics, the mixed-use structure designed for Dubai is shaped to resemble a water drop.
If you are a designer eager to find more sustainable material choices for your creative inventions, you might want to hit the BioCouture workshop during Beirut Design Week.
The founder of THIS – a small design company that is distributing a contemporary version of the Miswack, an organic, biodegradable, all-natural toothbrush that could potentially render both toothpaste and toothbrushes obsolete – is launching a Middle Eastern chapter of the AIGA design hub at the upcoming Beirut Design Week.
Diamond Developers selected Baharash Architecture to plan the second of four phases of Dubai Sustainable City – a 46 hectare, 500 villa eco-development slated for construction at the junction of Al Qudra and Emirates Roads in Dubai.