Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, Berlin
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) are without a doubt the most prosperous part of the entire Arabian region today. The most visible expression of this breathtaking growth is its architecture: the tallest residential tower in the world was built in Dubai. And there is also the "Burj Al Arab", at 321 metres one of the tallest hotels in the world, which stands in the middle of the sea like a colossal sail. Architectural standards which have also been well served in the construction of the UAE embassy which opened recently in Berlin: Costing some 32 million euros, a palace from the the "1001 Nights" was created in the Hiroshimastrasse, a building reminiscent of Moorish masterpieces like the Alhambra in Spain.
The new embassy building, with 28,000 cubic metres of enclosed space, is intended not only to combine Arabian and Islamic architecture with traditional Berlin construction techniques, but at the same time to maintain in every respect the highest standards as to interior architecture and technical finish.
The newly-appointed Ambassador for the United Arab Emirates, His Excellency Ali Mohammed Ali Al-Zarouni, was convinced by the design from "Krause Bohne", which while still fully oriented towards the stylistic formalities of block perimeter construction, still exudes the culture and self-conception of the Orient from the very first glance: Like in a fortress, four 18 metre high square towers mark the corners of the 55 by 32 metre building, which visitors enter through a central risalit with a raised ogive that encompasses the entrance. This ogive, whose shape is echoed in many other locations, especially on the main facade, is both a tribute to the architectural tradition of the Arabian world and at the same time a lattice ornament for the non-bearing, light-coloured sandstone facade or the circumferential cornice with implied pinnacles, which draw the roof of the building together like a crown.
And the embassy building's technical systems are just as elaborate and impressive as its external appearance. For example, the access control, video monitoring and break-in and fire alarms are connected to the central building management system via a Berker instabus KNX/EIB system, as are the shading of the windows by automatically controlled Venetian blinds, the light control (with special night-time programs for exterior lighting and the areas accessible to the public), and various lighting scenarios for the conference rooms.