Inaugurated in 2000, the Triennial series seeks out and presents the most innovative, forward-thinking designs at the centre of contemporary culture from the previous three years. The exhibition showcases design solutions that promote environmental stewardship, social equity, accessibility and creative capital in 134 projects from 44 countries.
Now in the early stages of construction outside Abu Dhabi, Masdar Headquarters has been specifically designed to generate more energy than it consumes. It is set to do so using an integrated approach that combines architectural form, passive energy-efficiency strategies and cutting-edge energy generation technologies. Its signature features include the world’s largest solar panel array and eleven soaring cone-like structures to give natural ventilation, introduce natural daylight into the interiors and provide structural support for the roof canopy.
Masdar Headquarters is to be the centerpiece of Masdar City – a carbon-neutral, zero-waste development. Masdar Headquarters is slated to host the executive leadership of the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, the developer of Masdar City, as well as the secretariat of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), an international organisation promoting global use of energy from renewable sources.
Masdar Headquarters has been designed to fit this year’s Design Triennial theme, 'Why Design Now?' The show, which is presented every three years at the Cooper-Hewitt, explores the work of designers addressing human and environmental problems across many fields from architecture and product design to fashion, graphics, new media and landscape design. The exhibition examines why design thinking is an essential tool for solving some of today’s most urgent problems. Key developments across design disciplines will be presented through eight themes: energy, mobility, community, materials, prosperity, health, communication and simplicity.
Adrian Smith, of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, said: “We’re delighted to be part of the National Design Triennial. It’s a wonderful acknowledgement of our work and we’re extremely proud of it.” His partner, Gordon Gill, added: “Being represented in this exhibit at the Smithsonian is a great thing for our firm, for Masdar and for the cause of sustainable architecture around the globe. We’re thrilled.”