Terra is defined by a 135-meter-wide (442-foot-wide) “Energy Tree” canopy covered in solar panels and made from 97% recycled steel. The design for the structure was inspired by the Dragon’s Blood Tree (aka the Socotra Dragon Tree). The circular roof is transformed into a large central column that supports the structure’s weight.
Grimshaw designed the sustainability pavilion to generate all of the electricity and water needed for it to function. Aligned with the mission of sustainability, four-gigawatt hours of electricity can be generated per year from the canopy and the smaller Energy Trees that surround the main building. The pavilion also carefully considers the way the building deals with water. The design of the canopy along with the surrounding “water trees” helps to collect stormwater. The landscape does so on a smaller scale and is designed to filter the water.
A gabion rainscreen wall built from local stones from the Hajar Mountains helps to provide thermal mass to best condition the building. Around the main building, the site is cooled by the massive canopy providing shade below and is full of local greenery from the deserts.
Within the pavilion,