x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Masdar Institute nets design award

Architects of Masdar Institute receive international award.

ABU DHABI // The architecture firm responsible for the Masdar Institute has won a prestigious international award for its work on the futuristic and environmentally sustainable project.

Foster + Partners, the London-based architects known for its designs of the Chep Lap Kok airport in Hong Kong and the American Air Museum in the UK, received a Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) international award for architectural excellence. The Masdar Institute, part of the US$16 billion (Dh59bn) carbon-neutral Masdar City development, was one of 13 projects to feature in the international awards.

Established in 1966, the Riba awards consider various design factors, including complexity of the brief, budget, invention and originality. Judges visit the shortlisted projects to assess the quality of the design. The jury for the award changes every year.

Solar power, natural and high-tech lighting, and insulation technology are important features in the design of the Masdar Institute, a research-orientated university in Abu Dhabi that focuses on alternative energy and sustainability for the region.

The Riba judges said the six buildings that make up the institute, including the laboratories, teaching rooms and apartments, respected the project's mission to be completely powered by the sun "without being subservient to it".

The use of non-corrosive insulation materials, such as eco-friendly plastics, allowed the project to make full use of solar energy, the judges said.

The Riba announcement was a double triumph for Foster + Partners, which also received an international award for the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The firm has worked on several projects in the UAE, including the Abu Dhabi Central Market.