Tall Emblem Structure Competition, ecoFLEX

Dubai, United Arab Emirates | 2009

An entry for the Tall Emblem Structure competition in Dubai, ecoFLEX manifests Dubai's natural temperature cycles in a physical form.

Successful architecture has always depended on climate control. As civilizations have developed strategies for mediating their environment, an architecture of disconnect has developed. Today an air-conditioned space in Dubai is designed to the same temperature and humidity specifications as one in Scandinavia. The interior does not relate to the exterior, separating people from the rhythms of their climate. In contrast, ecoFLEX seeks to provide climate control while re-connecting people with the elements of Dubai's climate. ecoFLEX features heat-sensitive assemblies that modulate with the temperature to create varying levels of shading and wind shielding. The module flexes when heated to block sunlight and contracts when cooled to allow breezes through the screen. The climate's natural cycles are manifest in this highly visible reaction. Sited in an urban park, the ecoFLEX program includes sightseeing, dining, exhibit, and recreation spaces.


Shepley Bulfinch Team

Angela Watson
Luke Voiland
Lauren Deck
Allan Donnelly



  • 2009 Unbuilt Architecture award, Boston Society of Architects

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