Winner 2022

Award for
innovative form-finding and detailing in response to complex environmental conditions

Project Description

A series of over fifty shading structures which line the main streets of the Dubai Expo and are multifunctional in providing shade during the day and light at night. The structures are formed by suspending a thin steel cable-net from a steel mast and pulling it tight to the base. From this net, thin perforated aluminium panels are hung, carefully balanced to follow the shape of the net. These panels are free to pivot around the cable they are hung from in the wind, shedding wind and creating a beautifully active rippling sculpture.

Judge’s comments

These simple and elegant structures served many aesthetic and practical functions and are beautifully detailed. 

The rigorous testing, analysis and design of the aerodynamics of the swinging panels required high levels of analysis and wind-tunnel testing to investigate and understand wind effects. These complex dynamic issues were successfully dealt with offering benefit of dynamic analysis for future projects.

Project overview

Structural Designer

  • Webb Yates Engineers

Client Name

  • Bureau Expo Dubai 2020 c/o Hopkins Architects


  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates


  • Hopkins Architects

Principal Contractor

  • Pfeifer

Key Contractors

  • Turner & Townsend – Cost Consultant and Project Manager

    AFC – Main Works Contractor

    RWDI – Wind Tunnel Testing

    Eadon – Mechanical Engineering Consultant

    CH2MMace – Programme Management

Year Submitted

  • 2022

Key attributes

  • Process