When the sun comes up, the flowers come out. Inspired by the design of Arabic windows known as mashrabiya, these 45-foot wide, flower-shaped sunshades "blossom" in minutes to cover the facades of these twin towers designed for two (anonymous!) Middle Eastern media companies.

New York-based architecture firm REX drew up these plans for the conjoined headquarters of the two companies. Both the eastern and western faces are equipped with the blooming sunshades, which unfurl and retract as the sun moves across the sky. Inside, the headquarters include space for offices, as well as common areas such as cafeterias and theaters. Studios, which require permanent blackout, are tucked in the basement levels.

Mashrabiya refers to the the intricate latticework windows found in traditional Arabic architecture. Carved out of wood, they block out the searing sun while allowing in cool air from the outside. The floral patterns of these sunshades take direct inspiration from the geometry mashrabiya. In Abu Dhabi, too, architects have created towers with sunshades inspired by traditional Arab windows. It's a new take on an old idea. [Archdaily]

Images via Luxigon