The Institut du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute, for you non-Francophones) is a 19 nation cultural consortium with incredible architectural bragging rights. Merging traditional Arab patterns with clever engineering, its south-facing wall dilates thousands of apertures to control sunlight exposure.

The automated wall of the Institute, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, broadens and narrows entirely on its own—just like the human eye—corresponding with the rising and setting sun. The result? Dazzling interior lighting patterns, and a no-fuss way of keeping cool during the day. [Inhabitat]