The Kuwaiti-Spanish Architecture firm AGi scooped two coveted awards at the International Property Award held in Burj Al-Arab, Dubai. In addition to being recognized for its Wafra Living Complex, the firm’s experimental Wafra Wind Tower project has received the Best Architecture Multiple Residence Award.
A Google and Bloomberg TV channel collaborative, the International Property Award is well-regarded among residential and commercial property developers. So it’s particularly exciting that this new urban tower concept, which aims to achieve low energy consumption and source its construction materials regionally, should receive such international attention.
AGi has re-thought culturally-specific urban architecture with the Wafra Wind Tower. Recognizing the need for privacy but also acknowledging that land comes at a premium given soaring population growth, the design firm has created a tower that addresses both constraints.
Instead of restricting the Middle Eastern courtyard to one central place, each residence has access to private outdoor spaces. They also have their own entrances, so while there may be two homes on one level, at least they can enter their homes privately – as if they were living on a horizontal plane instead of in a vertical tower.
Glazing has been restricted to just 40% of the load-bearing walls, ensuring minimal solar gain and maximum daylighting. Cross ventilation is achieved with strategic northern orientation that opens out to the sea.
AGi aims to source their stone cladding regionally in order to cut down on their carbon footprint. They could of course go further in this respect by choosing even smarter materials and sourcing their own energy (a very easy thing to do in this sun-drenched country), but we have to applaud their concrete efforts to promote more sustainable development in a region where the bigger is better mentality has reigned so supreme over the last few decades.
For a look at a few other AGi projects that are making gentle waves in the Gulf, you can visit their website here.
:: Arab Times
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