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The sail-shaped towers of the Bahrain World Trade Center rise 240 metres above the capital city of Manama, their design inspired by traditional Arabian trading ships.
Combining a dramatic visual statement with state-of-the-art engineering, the towers demonstrate Bahrain’s commitment to sustainable design and renewable energy. Bahrain is the first Persian Gulf nation to establish a post-oil economy built on banking and tourism.
The tapered, elliptical towers act as airfoils, channelling offshore winds to drive three massive wind turbines set between the towers on a series of skybridges. Engineers say the turbines are designed to generate between 11 percent and 15 percent of the centre’s energy needs.
The Bahrain World Trade Center stands as a proud symbol of this island nation. The towers are equipped with 12 high-speed Otis® lifts, including four with panoramic glass cabs that provide stunning views of the gulf. Otis supplied a total of 26 lifts for the entire complex, which also includes a three-story base for commercial use.
Engineers say they used computational fluid dynamics and sophisticated wind-tunnel tests to determine the ideal shape of the towers to maximise the power generated by the wind turbines. Their analysis led to an elliptical, tapered design that funnels offshore winds between the towers and creates negative air pressure (or lift) from behind. That innovative design accelerates the wind's velocity as it hits the turbines.
The trade centre faces north, the direction from which air blows over the Persian Gulf. The orientation also creates a dramatic entry point for the entire complex.
In 2006, the Bahrain World Trade Center received the prestigious LEAF Award for Best Use of Technology within a Large Scheme. And in 2008, it was named the Best Tall Building in the Middle East and Africa by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).
total Otis lifts