Architectural Digest (UAE) - - Partnership -

De­fined by so­phis­ti­ca­tion and pre­ci­sion, the strik­ing DATO­GRAPH UP/ DOWN “Lu­men”, the lat­est time­piece from es­teemed Ger­man watch­maker A. Lange & Söhne, is dis­tin­guished by many things, but no more so than its res­o­lutely mod­ern look. In­tro­duced in 1999, the Dato­graph set new bench­marks in chrono­graph de­sign with its fly­back func­tion and con­sec­u­tive move­ment, and in­cludes ad­vanced fea­tures such as an in­stan­ta­neous jump­ing minute counter. Now, the model has been re­fined to dis­play a large, over­sized date, adding to its crisp look and stun­ning move­ment.

The fourth edi­tion in A. Lange & Söhne’s "Lu­men" se­ries, the DATO­GRAPH UP/DOWN “Lu­men” has a spe­cial coat­ing on the semi-trans­par­ent sap­phire-crys­tal dial to fil­ter out most of the vis­i­ble light. As a re­sult, all the dis­plays of the Lu­men glow a dis­tinc­tive green hue in the dark. With a power-re­serve in­di­ca­tor of 60 hours, the en­tire mech­a­nism is il­lu­mi­nated when ex­posed to light, sim­i­lar to that of a build­ing façade in the vi­brant glow of the sun. Akin to an ar­chi­tec­tural mas­ter­piece, the DATO­GRAPH UP/DOWN “Lu­men” per­fectly bal­ances func­tion­al­ity and artistry. Adapt­ing to the shift­ing light, the time­piece can find its coun­ter­part in iconic build­ings of the same com­plex­ity – al­beit of a very dif­fer­ent scale – such as the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learn­ing Cen­tre (SZDLC).

Sit­u­ated in the heart Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, SZDLC is an ed­u­ca­tional fa­cil­ity with in­ter­ac­tive ex­hibits cu­rated by world­class ex­perts. De­signed by Cha­l­abi Ar­chi­tects, an Aus­tria-based ar­chi­tec­ture firm founded by broth­ers of Iraqi her­itage, the struc­ture it­self is much like that of the chrono­graph, dis­play­ing dy­namic and con­tem­po­rary de­sign within di­verse in­te­rior spa­ces that of­fer a ki­netic ex­pe­ri­ence for the user. The de­sign for both time­piece and build­ing stems from a func­tional need, and push tech­ni­cal and aes­thetic bound­aries with spec­tac­u­lar re­sults.

Con­ceived by Ta­lik and Jaa­far Cha­l­abi, the struc­tural form of the SZDLC gen­er­ates a con­tin­u­ous loop and the large court­yards fa­cade is per­fo­rated by many aper­tures, cre­at­ing strik­ing par­al­lels to that of the chrono­graph once the sun sets over the desert land­scape. The win­dows are il­lu­mi­nated and the build­ing's pol­ished mar­ble pan­els sparkle like gold at sun­set, just as the dial of the DATO­GRAPH UP/DOWN “Lu­men” glows in the dark.

Ar­chi­tects strive to make good build­ings that last for an eter­nity. Much the same, A. Lange & Söhne has cre­ated a de­sign and move­ment that em­bod­ies ar­chi­tec­tural ac­cu­racy, meld­ing so­phis­ti­cated tech­nol­ogy with time­less de­sign.

SZDLC func­tions as an ed­u­ca­tional mu­seum as well as a re­search cen­tre for desert and en­vi­ron­ment re­lated is­sues

ABOVE: The SZDLC spi­rals up around a cen­tral court­yard to a high point which of­fers a vistato the moun­tain ridge. At night it glows in the desert

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