Foster + Partners recently completed a new flagship Apple Store near the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper, and the Dubai Fountain, the world's largest choreographed fountain. The store's design is quite interesting and its terrace features 18 motorized "Solar Wings" that open in the evening to offer choice views to those inside.
As its name suggests, the two-story Apple Dubai Mall store is located in the Dubai Mall. During the day, the building's Solar Wings – PR speak for Mashrabiya-like latticed shading screens – are shut and provide shading on the second floor terrace.
In the evening, the motorized wings open fully in a process that takes around a minute, allowing visitors to enjoy views of the surrounding area, including the Dubai Fountain's nightly performances.
Reaching a total length of 900 ft (274 m), the Dubai Fountain is a pretty significant local attraction and hosts a musical performance every evening. It includes a total of 75 color projectors and 6,600 powerful fountain lights. Some 22,000 gallons (83,279 ltr) of water is in the air at any given time.
"Reinterpreting the traditional Arabic Mashrabiya, innovative 'Solar Wings' gently shade the outside terrace during the day and open majestically during the evening to reveal the 'best seat in the house' with a breath-taking view of the waterside promenade and fountains," says Foster + Partners' Stefan Behling in a press release. "With their movement path inspired by a falcon spreading its wings, the 'Solar Wings' are in itself a theatrical experience – an integrated vision of kinetic art and engineering."
Each Solar Wing is made from 340 carbon fiber rods. The material was chosen because it doesn't rust and is lightweight. With that said, the 37.5 x 10 ft (11 x 3 m) structures still weigh a considerable 1,200 kg (2,645 lb) apiece.
The Apple Store's terrace also include nine trees which sit in mechanically rotating planters to ensure they receive an even amount of sunlight.
Foster + Partners is very much Apple's architecture firm of choice and is responsible for several other high-profile Apple Stores, in addition to the sustainable new Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, California.