Blogpost - Solar Architecture - Middle East - Solar Power

Solar Architecture is leading the way in the Middle East. This sun rich area has become a hot spot sustainable, solar design at work.

With reports forecasting approximately 4 gigawatts of solar power projects planned across the Middle East for 2016,  developers, architects and engineers are harnessing the power of solar.  Sustainable Architecture is becoming the next thing to look out for, and solar is being incorporated into some amazing feats of modern architecture.

Here are 5 solar architecture projects that amaze us and are true examples of the potential for more Solar Architecture in the Middle East.

1. Dubai Vertical Village – United Arab Emirates

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Dubai Vertical Village

The architects at Graft Lab have created the incredible Vertical Village.  This is a commercial, residential and entertainment development. The Vertical Village uses a Solar powered “skirt” to harness it’s energy. The village’s solar roof emulates a leaf. It has “veins” which break the solar field up into serviceable units. They also transport energy back to the building. It is used to provide hot water and power for air conditioning. There is an entertainment district, with shops, cinemas and restaurants. The north strip of the development is home to hotels and residential towers. In trusted Dubai style, the Vertical Village has it all – Solar Architecture excellence!


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Al Meisan Tower

2. Al Meisan Tower – United Arab Emirates

Also in Dubai, the Almeisan Tower is designed by architect Robert Perry.  This stunning tower will provide its own energy, as well as enough energy for the rest of the Za’abeel Park! 224 heliostatic polished mirrors on the top platform track the sun.  These reflect the beams of light into a central collector at the tower’s tip.  This magnified sunlight is harnessed and used to generate steam to power a turbine! Almeisan, is the Arabic name for one of the brightest starts in the Gemini constellation. It is a fitting name.  The tower’s defining feature is the sunlight that beams out from its tip. A beacon for Dubai and for sustainable energy.


Kuwait Airport- Solar- Middle East

Kuwait International Airport

3. Kuwait International Airport

Architects at Foster + Partners  have designed the new Kuwait International Airport. With this, they are aiming for the for the LEED Gold Sustainability Award. This amazing airport features concrete pillars that cool and protect the airport’s interior. They do this by providing thermal mass. The roof is a canopy fitted with PV solar panels. 13 million passengers will flow through this airport. They will be able to see sustainability implemented with style and grace.  Initial designs call for 3 wings of the airport ,each a mile long. They connect with a grand 82 foot dome. There will even be cooling waterfalls by the baggage claim! There is flexibility in the design for large scale expansion. In the future, Kuwait international Airport will be able to accommodate 50 million passengers.

4. King Abdullah University of Science and Technology – Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaSaudi- solar-University KAU

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Jeddah features two solar towers. These use the sun and prevailing winds to create a passive pressure difference. This keeps a continuous breeze blowing across the shaded courtyards. The towers feature two “skins”. The outer is completely transparent. This allows the maximum amount of sunlight to pass through to the inner “skin”. The inner skin consists of a highly absorbent tinted glass. This gathers up solar energy and maximizes hot air in the tower.  As hot air rises, it exits the top of the tower. This is then replaced with cooler air from the courtyard.

This technology keeps the campus courtyard comfortable and cool for more than 75% of the year. The roof of the KAUST building has been designed to incorporate solar panels. These work to provide the entire campus with power and hot water on demand. An amazing example of solar energy at work.

ABC Mall- Lebanon-solar

ABC Mall Achrafieh – Lebanon

5. ABC Achrafieh Mall – Lebanon

The ABC Achrafieh Mall in Beirut is paving the way for sustainability. They installed the largest solar PV plant in Lebanon on its rooftop. This covers up to 4000 square meters and can power the ABC department store. This is equal to supplying 500 houses with power.

This is an incredible way for a busy mall to cut down on the need for electricity. At the same time, harnessing the sun’s renewable energy. We consider this a true pioneering approach to sustainable architecture and power saving at a time where an uninterrupted source of electricity and power are a luxury in Lebanon.


Architectural projects like these are why Solar One came to being. We believe that sustainable architecture and specifically harnessing Solar Power is no longer a hope in the future but is very much our present. By manufacturing these panels locally right here in Bahrain,  and competing with international prices, we will soon see Bahrain and more Middle East Projects on other lists of Sustainable Architecture.

If you wish to incorporate solar panels in your large or small architectural designs, keep an eye out for our distributors and contact us today.