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The Umbrella Skyscraper for a Middle East based media HQ

The Umbrella Skyscraper for a Middle East based media HQ

Taking innovative design to new heights


Image: REX NY

A novel concept for the Middle East, this architecture company is turning heads with its creative take on sun protection

Come rain or shine, the trusty umbrella provides protection from the elements; but this architecture company has taken the concept to a whole new level, in its plans to erect two skyscrapers covered with retractable parasols for a Middle East based media headquarters.

The concept is the brainchild of REX – an award-winning New York based architecture company, and the plan is to house these adjoining sister companies in a pair of towers. The architecture will embody a traditional Arabic style – inspired by regional architecture and design.

Umbrella syscraper

Elegant in design, the structures will also be highly functional, with the REX proposal introducing giant retractable sunshades on the outer surface of the buildings, overlapping to create a monolithic curtain of umbrellas: 700 feet tall and wide in stature, this provides a functional shield against direct sunlight, and a cooling mechanism to the building simultaneously.

Umbrella syscraper

A sheet of interlocking 12-sided umbrellas, the lattice-like structure resembles the traditional Mashrabiya paneling commonly found to adorn windows in the Arab world. The shades will work alongside one another, with only one side of the buildings shaded at any given time – as one side retracts the other will open.  

Umbrella syscraper

Adding to their innovative plans, the towers' eastern façade would have LEDs integrated into the sunshades, which would be centrally controlled to project a giant 'television screen' across both structures, broadcasting the companies' content city-wide for all to see. 

Umbrella syscraper

Umbrella syscraper