Sunday, February 18, 2007

Arab World Institute

Designed by Jean Nouvel the Arab World Institute took seven years to design and build. The screening system that clads the exteriors is it's most distinguishing feature. The "moucharabiehs" as Nouvel describes them are modeled after traditional geometric symbols found in the Alhambra. Light is a major theme in the building and the motorized panels cast various shapes into the interior exhibition and library spaces. What's most exciting about this building is the anticipation of the shutter movement when first visited. As the sun starters to change or a cloud moves in for a while you can hear and see then entire facade respond from the interior stairwell and exterior court yard. The amount of pieces used to create the facade is overwhelming. The outcome of this shading technique is an interstitial space flooded with specs of light that mimic that of a prism.

Shutter Video
Arab World Institute

Virginia Byers

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