Is it a tent or a tunnel? Confused just like I am. Well, this new abstract art space coming from the Predock Frane Architects is a tent dwelling that doubles as a tunneling path linking Masdar City to Zayed University. Dubbed the “Solaris solar canopy”, this art installation is a beautiful balance of art, innovation and sustainability. The project proposed for the Land Art Generator Initiative comes across as a hybrid landscape/environmental machine that can both deliver power and engage the radical phenomenon of the desert.
Based on the Bedouin tent, which is made of goat hair, this magic carpet is designed to adjust to the desert extremities. The tunnel features geometric, undulating, artificial dunes and small pools of shallow water inside while flexible wave or canopy of Cool Earth solar cells that produce 300-400 times as much energy as a conventional cell shelters it from outside.
The water works in harmony with the year-round Shamal wind to cool the interior and also blocks the hot, humid summer wind, Sharqi. Proposing an antidote and refuge to the frenetic future-scape internationalism of the rapidly developing Arabian coast, the Solaris solar canopy received the third place mention from the jury.