Fresh from the textiles lab
The "Tower of the Arabs" is the world's tallest structure incorporating a membrane facade. It was built to resemble the sail of a dhow (Arab sailing vessel) and intentionally placed so that its shadow does not cover the beach.
The open side of the V-shaped floor plan is encased with a 15,000sq/m, 200m high membrane facade. 12 individual tensioned two layer membrane panels form the north facing facade, which enclose the vast 18 storey atrium. In the evening the translucent PTFE glass fibre facade becomes a gigantic projection screen. The membrane material has excellent resistance against the extremes of UV radiation, large temperature variation, sandstorms and fire.
All Pictures: Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Architect: W. S. Atkins, Overseas/UK