Standing 25 stories tall, these twin cylindrical structures ingeniously marry local customs with technical innovation. (The complex serves as the headquarters for the Abu Dhabi Investment Council, an arm of the government.)

Embellishing the glass-and-steel buildings are second skins inspired by mashrabiya, the latticework window coverings often seen in Arabic architecture. Unlike the traditional carved-wood screens, however, these automatically react to the sun—their modular panels of Teflon-coated mesh opening and closing to reduce solar gain and energy consumption while creating shifting geometric motifs.

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Photos: Christian Richters


Legend has it it was built long before people has access to even simple machinery and to this day it’s creation is a complete mystery. Most evidence and folklore points towards the theory that the goats themselves were visited by superior beings from another goat planet who provided them with this tower. Then, one day, with no explanation, they all disappeared.

And then, another day, many hundreds or maybe even thousands of years later, and with just as little explanation, they came back. A single, unassuming goat tower in a South African winery. No one paid it any mind. After all, what harm is one goat tower? 

When another one popped up in Argentina, attentions wavered slightly, but surely this planet can handle two goat towers. And it can, easily.

Nevertheless, emissaries were sent to the goat planet for some negotiations.Things were pretty easy-going back then, because on balance no one gives a shit what happens in Argentina or South Africa. Then our emissary returned, waving a piece of paper and screaming Peace In Our Time and everyone was happy. 

The very next weekend, a goat tower was found in Shelbyville, llinois, USA, which, as we all know, is one town over from Springfield. The Americans, who up until this point were doing their best to stay out of the imminent caprine conflict, decided to declare war on everyone.

At the end of this war, several countries had been reduced to rubble, but the goat population was entirely unaffected. If anything, it seemed to increase, and now there are goat towers everywhere.

No one knows what the future holds. But we all live in hope.

August came and went. Michael Jackson died. There was no Judgment Day. People went to work as they always do, laughed, complained, watched TV, made love. I wanted to run down the street yelling, to grab them all and say “Every day form this day is a gift. Use it well!” Instead I got drunk. That was many years ago. But the dark future which never came still exists for me, and it always will, like the traces of a dream lingering in the morning light. And the war against the goats goes on. Or, to be more precise, the war against those who build the goat towers. John fights the war differently than it was foretold. Here, on the battlefield of the Senate, the weapons are common sense… and hope.

- from the Goat War journal of Sarah O’Connor.