Keywords:Innovation, dynamic, adaptive facade, Al-Bahr Towers
High performance adaptive solutions are capable of responding to the dynamic nature of users and context. These innovative and dynamic systems are steadily gaining ground over ubiquitous ‘best fit’ static models. These architectural elements often exist beyond the scope of mainstream building standards and traditional methods for data representation or communication. This presents major challenges to a highly standardized and compartmentalized industry in which ‘innovation’ is limited to a few signature practices that design iconic yet expensive structures, which often prioritize aesthetics over performance. This paper offers an overview of the benefits that integrated dynamic systems bring to buildings. Through an examination of an applied practice, this paper offers guidelines for communicating complex geometry in a clear design language across interdisciplinary collaborations. The use of diagrammatic grammar to translate underlying algorithmic rules into instructions for design allows complex, innovative solutions to be realized more effectively. The ideas presented here are based on the design principles of the competition-winning scheme of the Al-Bahr Towers. As lead consultant in Innovation Design & Research at AHR (former Aedas-UK), Abdulmajid Karanouh designed and spearheaded this project in close collaboration with Arup. The buildings won the Best Innovation Award 2012 by the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). The pair of towers won recognition for its performance-driven form, and dynamic facade that operates following the movement of the sun.