Arcapita Bank HQ, Bahrain Bay, Bahrain

The new Arcapita Headquarters building in Bahrain combines a dramatic location with innovative sculptural forms, which results in a distinct sense of place for business and arts uses. The project provides a significant architectural presence that has an immediate impact and creates positive and exciting associations for Arcapita Bank. Working in conjunction with the project team, which included The Client, Architects, Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM) and Atkins and Project Managers Mace, dpa have produced lighting solutions, in terms of aesthetic requirements and functions, in this prominent and significant project.

Situated within the Bahrain Bay Development off the north coast of Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain, the Mosque comprises a concrete shell that is clad internally and externally with natural stone. One of the main goals of SOM for AHQ Building and East Park Mosque was to provide a productive work environment that balances daylighting and thermal comfort. Natural light is provided within the Mosque glazing on the ground floor and through feature windows that are cast into the faces of the structure. In order to highlight this feature during nighttime, dpa proposed concealed linear fixtures within the cladding slot feature. This reinforces the iconic identity of the building whilst providing a low energy, maintainable and practical solution.

Externally, a freestanding minaret was erected alongside of the Mosque. A similar but inverted lighting design was implemented for this feature to create harmony with the adjacent building. In addition to this, illumination at the pedestal wall was introduced using concealed energy-efficient fluorescent luminaires integrated within a slot to provide ambient lighting to the Mosque perimeter. The external lighting was deliberately located to provide reflections from the perimeter water.

Linear LED ‘L’ shaped arrays have been integrated into junctions between paving to reflect the slot design on the Mosque cladding. Graphic shapes act as a visual guide to the Mosque rather than dominating the feature.

A lighting control system for the interior and exterior façade of this project was also carefully established by using the concept of lighting scene control via Automatic Astronomic/Solar Time-clock and Manual Override. The scenes can be chosen depending on the Praying Time.

Client: Arcapita Bank
Project Manager: MACE
Architect: Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM) and Atkins
Interior Designer: Sima Malak + Alssamoure Design Associates
Landscape Designer: EDAW
M&E Consultant: Atkins