This project was built after the minister rejected an existing proposal and insisted on a transparent design competition that would use local materials but symbolise the ministry’s forward-looking intent. The accommodation is broken up into a series of bent rectangular boxes that interlink horizontally and vertically to suggest the links of international trade, their varied cladding providing varying degrees of solidity and transparency. Voids between the boxes create shaded external spaces, while internal atriums encourage air movement. The central 16 storey tower is pulled back from the road to create a ceremonial public courtyard with arms extending on each side.
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture, 2011.