AS+GG's Masdar Headquarters Featured in the 2010 National Design Triennial at The Smithsonian Institution's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum

May 2010

CHICAGO, May 13, 2010--Masdar Headquarters, designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, is featured in the 2010 National Design Triennial, opening Friday, May 14, and continuing through Jan. 9, 2011, at the Smithsonian Institution's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City.

Inaugurated in 2000, the Triennial series seeks out and presents the most innovative, forward-thinking designs at the center of contemporary culture from the previous three years. The exhibition showcases design solutions that promote environmental stewardship, social equity, accessibility and creative capital in 134 projects from 44 countries.

Now in the early stages of construction outside Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Masdar Headquarters will be the world's first large-scale positive-energy building, generating more energy than it consumes. It accomplishes this extraordinary feat with an integrated approach that combines architectural form, passive energy-efficiency strategies and cutting-edge energy generation technologies. Its signature features include the world's largest solar panel array and eleven soaring cone-like structures which give natural ventilation, introduce natural daylight into the interiors and provide structural support for the roof canopy.

Masdar Headquarters is the centerpiece of Masdar City, a carbon-neutral, zero-waste development. Masdar Headquarters is slated to host the executive leadership of the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, the developer of Masdar City, as well as the secretariat of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), an international organization promoting global use of energy from renewable sources. For more information, please visit where, there is a project description and gallery of images. All images in the gallery are available in high-resolution versions upon request.

Masdar Headquarters perfectly fits this year's Design Triennial theme, "Why Design Now?" The show, which is presented every three years at the Cooper-Hewitt, explores the work of designers addressing human and environmental problems across many fields from architecture and product design to fashion, graphics, new media and landscape design. The exhibition examines why design thinking is an essential tool for solving some of today's most urgent problems; what draws creative thinkers, makers and problem solvers to this crucial field of discovery; and why business leaders, policy makers, consumers and citizens should embrace design values. Key developments across design disciplines will be presented through eight themes: energy, mobility, community, materials, prosperity, health, communication and simplicity.

"We're delighted to be part of the National Design Triennial," Adrian Smith said. "It's a wonderful acknowledgement of our work and we're extremely proud of it."

"Being represented in this exhibit at the Smithsonian is a great thing for our firm, for Masdar and for the cause of sustainable architecture around the globe," Gordon Gill added. "We're thrilled."

The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum is at 2 East 91st Street at Fifth Avenue in New York City. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. General admission, $15; senior citizens and students ages 12 and older, $10. Cooper-Hewitt and Smithsonian members and children younger than age 12 are admitted free. For further information about the museum, please call (212) 849-8400 or visit
About Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture is dedicated to the design of high-performance architecture and the creation of new paradigms for sustainable development. The office uses a holistic, integrated design approach that emphasizes symbiotic relationships with the natural environment. The firm also specializes in the design of high-performance supertall towers. AS+GG is currently working on projects in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, China, South Korea, Malaysia, Canada and the United States. The firm was founded in 2006 by partners Adrian Smith, Gordon Gill and Robert Forest. For more information, please visit AS+GG. also recently launched a related energy and engineering firm, PositivEnergy Practice; for more information, please visit