The museum’s exhibitions also will emphasise sustainability. Its unconventional shape has meant absolutely everything has been modelled, analysed and optimised in advance, from fire evacuation and smoke extraction strategies to the cleaning of the exterior. Window designs, in the form of Arabic calligraphy, based on the Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed’s quotes, are intricately 3D mapped onto the curved skin. But on this project, he says, none of the steel members were altered due to the effort that had earlier gone into optimising and modelling the diagrid. Each of the 1,024 panels is unique and requires complex engineering before it even arrives at site (Credit: Getty Images). It just fits. The architectural world defines the futuristic shape of the museum as a torus with an elliptical void, but a giant hula hoop might be a more accessible point of reference. The 78-metre-high building accommodates 6 exhibition and 1 administration floor above a 3-storey podium and a F+B deck, with auditorium, retail, parking and services. Creating the parametric scripting was a lengthy process, but it allowed BuroHappold to dictate outcomes – such as having the steel members be of a single diameter size and orderable from the market. “This is not the museum where you will see objects in cases with labels next to them,” says Carlson. “I can’t tell you the joy when we fitted the first rung of panels and it all matched up,” says Bauly. The world's most controversial construction site? Parametric scripting was used to determine the final position and size of the lettering to find the optimum balance between the amount of natural light entering the museum, the solar heat gain, the air conditioning load and the aesthetics – while also achieving the points needed for the museum to be rated a LEED Platinum building (the highest-level certification awarded to green buildings). “We struggle a bit to describe the building to people who haven’t seen it,” he admits. “This was more complex than the diagrid work as we were trying to solve four or five simultaneous equations,” says Bauly. The lead consultant on the project, the UK’s BuroHappold Engineering, says it would have been an impossible undertaking without parametric design and Building Information Modelling (Bim). The inspiration for the green hill was also to elevate the building in a calm and unobtrusive way above the metro line and create greenery in elevation that is uncommon in Dubai where visitors can enjoy while engaging with the Museum. Construction still has a long way to go before the focus shifts inside at the end of the year. A handpicked selection of stories from BBC Future, Culture, Worklife, and Travel, delivered to your inbox every Friday. Parametric modelling of people movement throughout the building was used to determine how to reduce queuing times and help flow with the width of corridors, number of lifts, design of the bathrooms and layout of the ticketing hall. Dubai is no stranger to new construction, but even so, the Museum of the Future is known as one of the most complex construction projects ever attempted (Credit: Getty Images). “We want to show how people might creatively respond to the challenges, while at the same time being realistic about the challenges that are coming,” he says. Museum of the Future. The Museum of the Future is a museum of innovation and design, currently under construction in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The glazing units are all unique pieces, too, as they combine with adjacent panels to form the free-flowing calligraphy. The primary inspiration of the Museum of the Future was to create a form that represents the client’s vision of the future, where the physical building with its exhibition floors represents our understanding of the “future” as we know it today and for the next 5 to 10 years. Parametric design is a process based on algorithmic thinking, which allows specific variables or parameters to be manipulated to alter the outcome of an equation. These were chosen over a steel or concrete shell as the most practicable solution for a building of this shape and complexity. Aside from this, the museum will also play host to conferences, fairs, talks and workshops. From the outset, it was determined that the Museum of the Future would aim for a LEED Platinum rating. Location: Emirates Towers area, on south side of Sheikh Zayed Road. Likewise, the glimmering, futuristic upper building represents mankind, with all of its strength, artistry and ability to create in harmony with its surroundings. One floor will showcase the expected near-future gadgets, but the focus will still be on technology that will bring a benefit to humanity, whether by helping to feed the world, meet our water needs or make transportation more sustainable. “It probably would have become something else; the shape would have been dumbed down and it would have been much more difficult to build. Dubai’s next architectural ambition: the Museum of the Future. The primary inspiration of the Museum of the Future was to create a form that represents the client’s vision of the future, where the physical building with its exhibition floors represents our understanding of the “future” as we … Although Bim has been around for many years, the industry has been slow to embrace it.. “We knew we needed to have everything in a digital environment because geometrically you couldn’t define everything,” says Tobias Bauly, BuroHappold’s project director for the Museum of the Future. 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