Media Headquarters Buildings

DesignerJoshua Prince-Ramus
PrizeHonorable Mention
Project LinkView
Entry Description

Two Middle Eastern media companies were seeking to create conjoined headquarters in two elegant structures that reference traditional Arab architecture. Aside from programmatic and area requirements, they provided a long, slender precedent structure for consideration. This 380-meter slender precedent became our starting point. For maximum efficiency, offices are stacked over the small broadcast / news studios, which sit atop each company’s common facilities. Larger studios that require permanent blackout are below grade. The common facilities occupy the lower body of the towers, enabling an X-ray effect that exposes the activity inside this maze-like zone. To shield the headquarters from the unrelenting sun, their facades incorporate retractable sunshades, whose geometry references mashrabiya patterns. As the sun rotates, the buildings’ western facades “blossom” while their eastern sunshades simultaneously retract, all within a minute. With sunshades retracted, the stone-clad towers reveal floor-to-ceiling, clear glass windows. At night, LEDs integrated into the sunshades’ caps transform the eastern facades into giant media walls. The towers cast large shadows on the courtyards below sited according to the Summer Solstice’s sun path and covered by retractable umbrellas at other times of year. The headquarters’ mutability, at once traditional, sustainable and digital, forge a new kind of iconography for buildings in this region that usually identifies recognition with height.