The Windtower that sits prominently in Masdar Institute’s central courtyard is a contemporary re-interpretation of the traditional Arabic wind tower that is so iconic across the Gulf region. Similar to the ‘barjeel’ of old, Masdar Institute’s Windtower has been designed to bring cooling breezes down to ground level. Rising 45m above the campus podium level, the Windtower is able to capture the cooler upper-level winds and direct them to the open-air public square at its base.

Sensors at the top of the steel structure operate high-level louvers to open in the direction of prevailing winds and to close in other directions to divert wind down the tower. A non-stick membrane carries the wind downward, while mist generators at the top add additional cooling to the air. Combinations of evaporative cooling and air movement techniques help to moderate perceived air temperatures, thereby improving personal comfort. Masdar Institute also uses the tower as a platform for its scientific instruments, including weather measuring equipment and air quality testing tools.