Bahrain World Trade Center by Atkins

September 28, 2011

As sustainable design becomes a more common practice, it is the aesthetic appeal and technological advances which are used in collaboration with these practices that make each building more inspirational.

The Bahrain World Trade Center (BWTC) in Manama, Bahrain is a beautiful example of sustainability meets design.

It was designed by Atkins with the goals of using renewable energy sources intertwined with sustainable architecture but inspired by traditional Arabian wind towers to direct the wind sources to wind turbines attached to the building’s façade.

The towers were designed so that they will funnel the onshore wind between them, while simultaneously creating a negative pressure behind in order to accelerate the wind velocity, creating more energy.

The building is two 50-storey sail shaped office towers surrounded by landscaping and a business park all designed with the environment in mind.

Chief Architect Shaun Killa says,

“The development sets a technological precedent, which we hope will also raise the global awareness of the importance of environmentally sustainable design. We are very optimistic about the future because we have clearly demonstrated that we can create a commercial development that is underpinned by an environmental agenda.”

The turbines are creating 11-15 percent of the towers’ total electrical consumption.

Besides the mounted turbines, the commercial park is sustainable in many ways. It incorporates the use of:

  • Concrete flooring
  • Gravel roofs
  • Glass as shading
  • Operable windows
  • Heat recovery system
  • Variable-volume chilled water pump
  • Energy efficient fluorescent lighting
  • Solar powered road and amenity lighting
  • Reflective pools

The reflective pools are located at the entrances to provide local evaporative cooling. This is a sustainable detail not used very often and a system sometimes overlooked.

This beautiful building encompasses unique design, advanced technologies and sustainable attributes all while providing a necessary working environment that all office buildings and commercial parks require.

Wind Diverting DesignIt is truly inspirational to see how sustainability and going green are international and each design only gets more incredible.

Resources: Go Green, Inhabitat and Trend Ideas


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Jennifer Shockley

Jennifer is originally from Colorado and has recently moved back from Michigan. She is finishing up her Master’s degree in Architecture. She is currently focusing on urban planning and sustainable design and hopes to gain employment at a design firm specializing in these areas. Jennifer also has writing experience serving as an editor for her school newspaper and college magazine. Jennifer has two cats named Prada and Dior-aptly named after her shoe obsession. You can follow Jennifer on twitter @jenshock81.
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