Etihad Museum Dubai

Designed by Moriyama & Teshima, the Etihad Museum in Dubai celebrates the founding of the United Arab Emirates — an event that took place in the neighbouring “Union House” back in 1971.

The museum’s aboveground entrance hall is dominated by a transparent glass-fin facade that foregrounds seven oblique supporting columns, each representing one of the country’s founding families. Above this facade sits a roof with a significant overhang that not only serves as a symbol of the UAE’s founding document, but also prevents overheating, provides glare protection and offers welcome shade in the hotter months of the year — all properties that underwent careful examination using simulation software during the planning process. The judicious application of coating and printing to the building’s insulating glass allowed the total energy transmittance value (g-value) to be kept under 18% while retaining a high degree of transparency overall.

12 m High Glass Sword Facade

Measuring up to 12 m in height, the glass-fin facade stands at an incline of 21 degrees to the vertical. For this reason, all the fins and even the panes of glass themselves had to be self-supporting, allowing sections of the facade to serve as a bracing plane. This required a custom connection to be developed between the fins and glass panes. Particular attention was paid to the design of the facade’s corner sections to guarantee their loadbearing function despite high levels of deformation in the roof.

Werner Sobek was responsible for facade planning and for carrying out shading and solar radiation analyses to optimise the project’s solar control measures.

Moriyama & Teshima Architects, Toronto/Canada

Planning time
2014 − 2015

Construction time
2015 − 2016

Services by Werner Sobek

  • Facade engineering (preliminary design, design planning, approvals planning, final planning)
  • Shading and radiation analysis for the optimisation of the facade´s solar protection elements

2,000 m²

Moriyama & Teshima Architects, Toronto/Canada

HG Esch, Hennef/Germany

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