MAS Architecture Studio scale down the wind tower to keep pedestrians cool

With materiality, we wanted to reinforce barjeel's incredibly sustainable nature with recycled and readily available corrugated cardboard and unfinished aluminium.
– Kerim Miskavi

Istanbul-based MAS Architecture Studio have created a barjeel – or wind tower – installation for Dubai Design Week 2019 that gives passersby a place to pause, rest and cool down.

The installation, titled Barjeel, was a response to an open call via which Dubai Design Week was seeking to showcase "the design identity of the UAE through diverse representations of local and international creative efforts."

Barjeel was inspired by the wind towers that have been used to cool buildings in the Gulf region for centuries, scaling the concept down for use at street-level by pedestrians.

Wind towers work as passive cooling devices by funnelling breezes from high above the ground down into the base of a building.

MAS Architecture's interpretation follows the same principle, built high enough to capture air flowing more freely than at ground level and using it to cool an internal space in which people can sit.

Bench seating is provided around the inside perimeter of the tower, which also provides shade for those inside.

While the exterior of the tower is square from top to bottom, a circular interior becomes square as the tower rises, referencing the geometric forms used in Islamic architecture.

Passive cooling is inherently sustainable and MAS have sought to keep the environmental impact of the installation to a minimum by constructing it almost entirely out of recycled cardboard. There are also some aluminium elements.

At night, the structure is illuminated by LED strips embedded in the layers of cardboard, which give the impression of it being a solid rectangular structure that is emanating light.

Kerim Miskavi, founder and design lead of MAS Architecture Studio, said: "We wanted our response to the open call to speak to the traditions inherent to the region and were thoroughly impressed by the simple yet elegant and efficient solution the barjeel offered for centuries before high-tech air conditioning.

"With materiality, we wanted to reinforce barjeel's incredibly sustainable nature with recycled and readily available corrugated cardboard and unfinished aluminium."

The proposal was submitted to Dubai Design Week in June this year and went into production through to the end of September. The modules were then shipped to Dubai for assembly on 8 November and there was a soft launch on 10 November.

MAS Architecture Studio  Dubai Design Week 
Istanbul-based MAS Architecture Studio have created a barjeel – or wind tower – installation for Dubai Design Week 2019 that gives passersby a place to pause, rest and cool down. The installation, titled Barjeel, was a response to an open call via which Dubai Design Week was seeking to showcase "the design identity of the UAE through diverse representations of local and international creative efforts." Barjeel was inspired by the
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Barjeel was inspired by the wind towers that have been used to cool buildings in the Gulf region for centuries
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Company profile: Robert D. Henry Architects + Interiors
Robert D Henry Architects (RDH-Architects) was founded in 1990 in New York City by Bob Henry, known as the “sensuous architect of serenity.”
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MAS Architecture Studio scale down the wind tower to keep pedestrians cool
Istanbul-based MAS Architecture Studio have created a barjeel – or wind tower – installation for Dubai Design Week 2019 that gives passersby a place to pause, rest and cool down.