Foster + Partners’ designs for the ‘Zayed national museum’ in Abu Dhabi was revealed by his highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai and Her majesty queen Elizabeth II of the united kingdom.

Conceived as a monumnet and memorial to the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding president of the UAE, the museum will be the centrepiece of the Saadiyat island cultural district and will showcase the history, culture and more recently the social and economic transformation of the emirates. The design of the museum aims to combine a highly efficient, contemporary form with elements of traditional arabic design and hospitality to create a museum that is sustainable, welcoming and culturally of its place.

Featuring a landscaped garden around its base, the museum’s display spaces are housed within a man-made mound. The interior conditions are regulated passively through five solar thermal towers, which host the galleries. The towers heat up and act as thermal chimneys, drawing cool air currents throughout the museum.

Fresh air is captures at the low level and drawn through buried ground-cooling pipes and then released into the museum’s lobby. Air vents open at the top of the wing-shaped towers taking advantage of the negative pressure on the lee of the wing profile to draw the hot air out.

via designboom