KAUST’s Breakwater Beacon is a Mashrabiya Lighthouse for Saudi Mariners


Ever wonder what an Arabian lighthouse looks like? Mariners approaching the Red Sea harbor at Thuwal, about one hour north of sprawling Mecca, Saudi Arabia are now guided to shore by a soaring new honeycomb lighthouse designed by the Australian firm Urban Art Projects. Commissioned by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), […]

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Yinchuan Exhibition Center: Islamic Design in China


One of the best kept secrets in the world of architecture seems to have leaked… in China. Long celebrated in the Middle East for its climatic awareness and passive efficiency, traditional Islamic design reflects an astute awareness of nature. Mashrabiya screens create privacy and shading while permitting daylighting and natural ventilation. Traditional building materials such […]

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There’s a Burj Qatar by Jean Nouvel and it’s the World’s ‘Best’ Tall Building


Chicago’s Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat recently named the Burj Qatar the world’s best new tall building, which is curious to us for several reasons. First of all, famed French architect Jean Nouvel designed the building but we can’t find it on his website. Is he not proud of his towering child? Second, there’s a […]

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Oxygen Villa is One Giant Prefabricated Mashrabiya Home


Egyptian studio House designed a beautiful prefabricated Mashrabiya home called Oxygen Villa. Comprised of modular boxes with both vertical and horizontal screens, this solar-powered gem provides all of the natural lighting, ventilation and privacy the average Arab family needs. Combining cutting-edge technology such as photovoltaic (PV) glazing modules and decentralized wastewater treatment system with ancient passive […]

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650 Handcrafted Oak Pieces Went Into This Fine Mashrabiya Table


Mashrabiya screens are a common element in Middle Eastern architecture and yet few people outside the design world realize how much work goes into making them. In order to unveil the extraordinary care and patience that goes into each handcrafted screen, Beirut-based Carwan, the Middle East’s first popup art gallery, commissioned mischer’traxler to design the Mashrabiya […]

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Yaniv Pardo’s Twisting Tower for Netanya in Israel


Netanya’s efficient new twisting tower will be powered by geothermal energy and transform this once-obscure Israeli city. We have a real soft spot for earth architecture, such as Nader Khalili’s gorgeous domes and arches fit for space, and these amazing Syrian beehive-shaped buildings that have lasted hundreds of years, but we also acknowledge the great […]

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