The Crescent Moon Project
About the Project
The idea at the basis of the project is the rising crescent moon as a symbol of the Muslim world. The structure is supposed to become a symbol and should look like a monument rather than a building. We were searching for an image which would be as laconic in terms of shape as possible, while at the same time recognizable. We wanted something that would carry the maximum symbolic and historic potential, while remaining in line with the character of the surrounding landscape and climate.
We had a vision of a dark blue night sky with a flat and sun-burnt desert landscape forming an almost absolutely clean line of the horizon. Rising from behind the horizon there was a giant crescent moon glowing in warm light, reflecting in the atmosphere of the earth. Palm trees in the landscapes, as well as several thin layers of clouds at the horizon, promoted the fantastic scale of the scene.
The main distinguishable features of the project are the exterior shape and the material proposed for the exterior walls. Light transmitting concrete (concrete with fiber optics in it) creates incredible structures which unite the solidity of concrete and the atmospheric lightness of the glow coming through. During the day this material will help save electric power and during the night it will fill the silhouette of the building with deep internal light.
The shape of the building affects the interior elements as well. Huge steel beams, which make up the core of the building, and fine traditional arabesque patterns on the open parts of the building, help create a completely new and unprecedented atmosphere which unites ancient traditions and modern technologies.
The main idea for the interior design is the spectacular character and scale of almost all spaces. A great addition to this is the combination of traditional motifs with modern finishing materials, accessories, furniture, and state-of-the-art technologies. These are the same principles that we used when developing the exterior image of the building. The interior design and decoration will carry on the ideas embodied in the proposed architectural solutions.
The premises can serve any purpose. The multi-purpose character of the architecture and spacious interiors allow the building to house many different spaces at once. For examples, shops can take the lower levels of the building, the middle levels can be occupied by offices and various exhibition spaces, and upper levels can be dedicated to a hotel.
Light Transmitting Concrete
A unique feature of the building is the application of one of the most cutting-edge and innovative construction materials - light transmitting concrete. It is made of regular concrete with the addition of fiber optics. The fibers can transmit light to over 50 feet and, as they occupy only a small percentage of the total concrete block or panel, they do not significantly affect the structural capabilities of the poured pieces. Light transmitting concrete allows one to see silhouettes, shapes, and even the color of objects located directly behind the material. Retaining the strength of regular concrete, this material also lets the light pass through it, creating a unique design. Daylighting possibilities abound and all with potentially much lower heat loss and cost and with greater durability.
Every effort has been put into incorporating Green Building concepts in the initial design so that it not only remains low on overall power consumption, but also becomes a benchmark for future design projects. The building structure uses environmentally safe materials and harmless materials. Special attention has been given to heat and noise insulation. The entire building infrastructure and its power systems have been designed to reduce the energy resources and electric power consumption, as much as possible, while maintaining the highest efficiency of all systems. We propose a centralized air-conditioning system for the buildings, with the main blocks and the machinery of the system located on the underground floors. The air intake will be realized via special bent shafts located outside of the building perimeter.