CNIA, within Abu Dhabi, is the government office protecting the critical infrastructure in the U.A.E. The concept of the design was to create an innovative building that would set an example for future developments in pursuit of Abu Dhabi’s 2030 goal of being a carbon-neutral city. The building uses multiple established sustainable techniques, material strategies, vernacular vocabulary, and an innovative design involving buoyancy turbines located on the front of each wind-harvesting fin. A time-tested technique of shading courtyards provide cooler exterior spaces while allowing light to reach into the building.
The design presents an image associated with security. The strong repetition of elements establishes this imagery and allows for phasing the construction, maintaining a cohesive building over time. The challenges of representing the culture of the area are embraced. Vernacular evaluation and appropriate reuse avoids meaningless imitation. The arrangement and density of a concrete mashrabiya was determined with a solar study. This balances optimal lighting with solar protection, and enhances visual security required by the program.