Qatar Cactus Building
PDF E-mail

Qatar has chosen a building that is both shaped and acts like a cactus as their latest superstar project.


 A newly awarded project is bound to get some prickly attention: a cactus-shaped office building. While its Gulf neighbor pursues the tallest buildings, Qatar is aiming for design inspired by nature’s ability to withstand the desert climes.
Designed by Bangkok-based Aesthetics Architects GO Group, the giant cactus will be used as office space for the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture’s (MMAA). Directly next to the building is a dome, which will house a botanical garden.

The building has been designed to be energy efficient – a necessary component in an area short on water and facing eventual peak oil – and to mimic, to some extent, a cacti’s “clever” adaptation techniques.

In order to avoid losing water to evaporation during the heat of the day, cacti transpiration occurs at night, long after the sun has set. While the building’s adaptations are somewhat different, it can gauge when its sun shades should be deployed to keep out the sun.

Biomimicry is a dynamic, emergent field in which architecture, design, biology and other sciences intersect to develop buildings, even whole cities, that “mimic” nature’s organic sustainability.

(Article ref  2nd Feb2011)