Architecture firm Graft Lab are making waves in the industry with their pioneering designs that emulate the best in green building practices, as well as contextualising their work.
Their current design “Vertical Village” is a prime example of these two initiatives coming together in order to create an architecture achievement that ticks all of the right boxes. As such, upon its completion the development is expected to take out the great honour of achieving LEED gold certification.
The facility will be used as a mixed used development including hotel, residential and entertainment facilities. What makes this development so unique it that it has a complete ideological foundation of solar energy.
Due to this reliance upon solar energy, the layout and form of the building has been the paramount task. In order to make the most of the sun, the roofs of the different sections are completely made up of solar panels, which according to designers “behave much like leaves, with veins that break the solar up into serviceable units”.
The main solar collector lies at the Southern end of the complex, angled towards the sun to have the highest solar intake. Low angle sun penetration is reduced by the implementation of intense shading to the north. This is a design that is as much about structural innovation as it is location affectivity.
Aesthetically the development is a homage to a futuristic utopia, with an intermingling of metal, glass and greenery. The striking slices of metal, solar panel and glass cut under the vertical buildings, which are positioned to completely change the look of the building from different angles.
With leisure centres such as cinemas, retail spaces and restaurants, the Vertical Villageis a clear example of hedonistic sustainability. That is sustainability that doesn’t come at the price of pleasure.
It seems only fitting that a design of this nature would be positioned in an area where sunlight is in great measure. That factor, in addition to its reputation to having the world’s best architecture and design, Dubai has been slated as the complex’s location.
The Vertical Village is a great example of the kind of architecture that should truly be a focus in Dubai. The super city has struggled since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), perhaps sustainable building is going to be the key to helping it finds its feet. In any case, the building is yet another industry paradigm that offers to create a benchmark in future architecture concepts that don’t have to harm to achieve greatness.