x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Californians design new FNC building

100m lattice dome on Abu Dhabi Corniche will be visible for miles around.


Abu Dhabi // A Californian architecture firm has been chosen over 14 other major companies to design the Federal National Council’s new building on the capital’s Corniche.

The centrepiece of Ehrlich Architects’ winning design will be its 100m concrete and metal screened dome, visible for miles across the water – especially at night, when it will be illuminated.

But the dome will serve a functional purpose, too, reducing the amount of direct sunlight reaching the main building and creating a “shaded micro-environment while casting Islamic patterns of dappled light onto the white marble Assembly Hall.”

The buildings that will house most of the offices and meeting halls reflect the colours and textures of desert sand, with exteriors recalling local historic buildings.

Thick walls in light colours will provide thermal mass, collecting heat during the day and releasing it at night. Recessed windows and other features will minimise the need for daytime artificial lighting.

The building is expected to achieve a “five pearl” rating in the Estidama Initiative, a sustainable design programme.

Steven Ehrlich, the design principal at Ehrlich Architects, said the complex would “balance Islamic heritage with the UAE’s global contemporary aspirations, where modernity and tradition are in harmonious balance.”

Ehrlich Architects teamed up in the second phase of the competition with the UAE-based Godwin Austen Johnson and landscape architects ValleyCrest Design Group.