Sunshade Structures

EXPO 2020 Dubai - Sunshade Structures

We worked in close collaboration with Hopkins Architects to design 53 shading structures that run through the central axis of each of the three thematic districts of the Dubai EXPO 2020 experience and creates a prominent feature linking the different walkways and piazzas. These structures are designed to provide shading during the day and at night form the backdrop to an impressive LED light show creating a unique outdoor experience.

Inspired by nature, these light-weight structures are an expression of the tension that exists between form and function. Each structure consists of a 26m mast and 16m diameter ring all tied with a cable-net and onto which a set thin perforated aluminium shading panels are hung. Each panel is connected to the cables with a pair of bespoke bearings which are engineered to allow the panels to pivot. This kinetic façade creates the shimmering effect whilst serving the specific function of shedding wind in a similar a manner that the movement of leaves on the branches reduces the flex of a tree.

To shape of the cable-net was generated using parametric modelling and refined the achieve the desired form and architectural aesthetic. The individual panels are geometry balanced so they hang tangentially to the sweep of the cable-net and the pattern of perforations developed parametrically and drawn up in a detailed BIM model.

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