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BIG and Hyperloop One Unveil Designs for Unprecedented Autonomous Transportation System

05:45 - 8 November, 2016

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Hyperloop One have unveiled joint designs for an autonomous transportation system and the world’s first Hyperloop pods and portals in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The designs are being presented as Hyperloop One signs a deal with the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), bringing the project one step closer to reality.

© BIG © BIG © BIG © BIG +22

Benoy Releases Plans for Large Sustainable Community Park in Abu Dhabi

16:00 - 11 September, 2016
Benoy Releases Plans for Large Sustainable Community Park in Abu Dhabi , Courtesy of Benoy
Courtesy of Benoy

Benoy’s UAE studios best known for their work in the MENA region have released the plans for Abu Dhabi’s upcoming Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Park. In a redefinition of the former Khalidya Ladies Park, the renovation—as a portion of the AED94 million renovation—was commissioned by The Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport at Abu Dhabi City Municipality to “fuel discovery and support the core tenets of the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.” 

The open-air project centers on the concepts of sustainability, economic diversification and growth, improved social and community facilities, the promotion of Arab and Emirati culture, and a focus on contemporary living.

In Progress: Louvre Abu Dhabi / Jean Nouvel

03:00 - 12 August, 2016
In Progress: Louvre Abu Dhabi / Jean Nouvel, © TDIC
© TDIC

© TDIC © TDIC © TDIC © TDIC +21

  • Architects

  • Location

    Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
  • Client

    TDIC
  • Project Year

    2016
  • Photographs

    TDIC

Watch the Louvre Abu Dhabi Perimeter Flood

16:00 - 17 June, 2016

Update 9/20/16: The opening date for the museum has been pushed back to 2017.

Earlier this week, the temporary sea wall that had been separating the Louvre Abu Dhabi from the seawater of the Persian Gulf was removed, creating a new harmony between site and structure as envisioned in the original project renderings. The building, which was conceived in 2007 and designed by Jean Nouvel, is set to open later this year.

The Sheikh Zayed Academy / Rosan Bosch Studio

22:00 - 11 May, 2016
The Sheikh Zayed Academy / Rosan Bosch Studio , © Kim Wendt
© Kim Wendt

© Kim Wendt © Kim Wendt © Kim Wendt © Kim Wendt +42

  • Architects

  • Location

    Abu Dhabi - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
  • Creative Director

    Rosan Bosch
  • Area

    29000.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

AL_A Wins Competition to Design Abu Dhabi Mosque

14:00 - 2 March, 2016
AL_A Wins Competition to Design Abu Dhabi Mosque, Prayer Hall. Image © AL_A
Prayer Hall. Image © AL_A

AL_A has won a competition to design a new mosque within the Foster + Partner-designed World Trade Center complex in Abu Dhabi. The 2000-square-meter project, envisioned as a "pathway to serenity" rather than a single building, leads visitors on a journey through an informal park of palm trees that slowly align with the mosque's shifted grid as users approach the Prayer Hall. Once inside, visitors are facing towards Mecca. 

"The mosque is envisaged as a piece of the city, one that reflects the journey from the temporal to the spiritual," said AL_A director Ho-Yin Ng. "The mosque and the garden become one, with the trees and the columns forming an informal vertical landscape and allowing Friday prayers to spill outside."

Translucent Concrete Animates the Facade of this Abu Dhabi Mosque

14:00 - 14 October, 2015
Translucent Concrete Animates the Facade of this Abu Dhabi Mosque, © LUCEM
© LUCEM

By day, the concrete facade of APG Architecture and Planning Group's latest project, the Al Aziz Mosque in Abu Dhabi, features protruding elements of Arabic script spelling out the 99 names of God from the Quran. By night though, the 515 square meter facade is transformed, as the concrete script lights up in the darkness. The effect is made possible thanks to the translucent concrete paneling system provided by German-based manufacturer LUCEM.

© LUCEM © LUCEM © LUCEM © LUCEM +14

FLASH Entertainment New Offices / M+N Architecture

21:00 - 24 September, 2015
FLASH Entertainment New Offices / M+N Architecture, © Giulio Asso @ Verdekiwi Photography
© Giulio Asso @ Verdekiwi Photography

© Giulio Asso @ Verdekiwi Photography © Giulio Asso @ Verdekiwi Photography © Giulio Asso @ Verdekiwi Photography © Giulio Asso @ Verdekiwi Photography +26

Viola Communications Office / M+N Architecture

23:00 - 14 April, 2015
Viola Communications Office / M+N Architecture, © Giulio Asso @ Verdekiwi Photography
© Giulio Asso @ Verdekiwi Photography

© Giulio Asso @ Verdekiwi Photography © Giulio Asso @ Verdekiwi Photography © Giulio Asso @ Verdekiwi Photography © Giulio Asso @ Verdekiwi Photography +36

Ten Buildings Which Epitomize The Triumph Of Postmodernism

04:00 - 27 February, 2015
Ten Buildings Which Epitomize The Triumph Of Postmodernism, Via Archive of Affinities. Image © Nils-Ole Lund
Via Archive of Affinities. Image © Nils-Ole Lund

Being such a recent movement in the international architectural discourse, the reach and significance of post-modernism can sometimes go unnoticed. In this selection, chosen by Adam Nathaniel Furman, the "incredibly rich, extensive and complex ecosystem of projects that have grown out of the initial explosion of postmodernism from the 1960s to the early 1990s" are placed side by side for our delight.

From mosques that imagine an idyllic past, via Walt Disney’s Aladdin from the 1990s, to a theatre in Moscow that turns its façade into a constructivist collage of classical scenes, "there are categories in post-modernism to be discovered, and tactics to be learned." These projects trace forms of complex stylistic figuration, from the high years of academic postmodernism, to the more popular of its forms that spread like wildfire in the latter part of the 20th century.

Frank Gehry Tells the Story Behind Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

00:00 - 23 December, 2014
Frank Gehry Tells the Story Behind Guggenheim Abu Dhabi , Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. Image © Gehry Partners
Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. Image © Gehry Partners

In just three short years, Frank Gehry’s 450,000-square-foot Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will open. More than 12 times the size of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim New York, the expansive $800 million museum will showcase 1960s art from around the world within an asymmetrical mountain of plaster blocks and self-cooling translucent cones. Anticipating its completion, the New York Times sat down with Gehry to hear the story behind the building’s design. Watch the full interview with Gehry, here

Abu Dhabi Central Market / Foster + Partners

01:00 - 21 October, 2014
Abu Dhabi Central Market / Foster + Partners, © Nigel Young | Foster + Partners
© Nigel Young | Foster + Partners

© Nigel Young | Foster + Partners © Nigel Young | Foster + Partners © Nigel Young | Foster + Partners © Nigel Young | Foster + Partners +32

  • Architects

  • Location

    Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
  • Project Team

    Norman Foster, David Nelson, Gerard Evenden, Stuart Latham, Muir Livingstone, John Blythe, Edson Yabiku, David Crosswaite, Giulia Galiberti, Sandra Glass, Ashley Lane, Giulia Leoni, Emily Phang, Bram van der Wal, Ho-Ling Cheung, Luca Latini, Franquibel Lima, Chris Nunn, Riccardo Russo, Jillian Salter, Ronald Schuurmans, Sunphol Sorakul, Daniel Weiss, Laura Podda, Yong Bin Kim, Yvonne Jendreiek
  • Area

    689416.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

Construction Begins on Rogers Stirk Harbour's First Towers in Middle East

01:00 - 17 September, 2014
Construction Begins on Rogers Stirk Harbour's First Towers in Middle East, Courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Details have been released on Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ first project in the Middle East: Maryah Plaza. The four-tower, one billion dollar scheme will be built on Abu Dhabi’s 114 hectare Al Maryah Island, which is slated to become the emirate’s central business district.

Siemens HQ in Masdar City / Sheppard Robson

01:00 - 25 August, 2014
Siemens HQ in Masdar City / Sheppard Robson, © Paul McMullin
© Paul McMullin

© Huffton + Crow © Huffton + Crow © Huffton + Crow © Paul McMullin +18

Inside Masdar City

00:00 - 23 June, 2014
Inside Masdar City, Masdar’s Incubator Building banks away from its roof line to add pedestrian space while constructing the aperture between buildings above to limit the amount of sunlight hitting the street surface. Image © Tyler Caine
Masdar’s Incubator Building banks away from its roof line to add pedestrian space while constructing the aperture between buildings above to limit the amount of sunlight hitting the street surface. Image © Tyler Caine

The Middle East has historically been known for many things — sustainability not being one of them. The clash of Western values with the harshness of the local climate can often wedge sustainability between a lot of sand and a hard place. Though there is a broad critique of the unsustainable attributes of the region’s development path, for years there has been a shining exception: Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates, seventeen kilometers east-south-east from the city of Abu Dhabi. 

Masdar City exists as an urban development project run by the renewable energy company Masdar, who has committed $15 billion to making Masdar City the planet’s most sustainable new city. Unlike Abu Dhabi, a city which unthinkingly follows antiquated models and Western building principles, Masdar City has a wealth of potential to offer the world of green urban planning - something the world sorely needs.

But Masdar City is certainly not without its share of critics. On first approach, the concentrated development, located in the center of six square kilometers of empty space, does little to awe, especially in comparison to the sprawling wave that is Abu Dhabi. Thanks largely to the global financial recession, buildings currently comprise less than 10% of the area committed to the urban experiment. Even today there is a group of onlookers that suggest Masdar City may just be a mirage after all.

However, this broader view is not necessarily synonymous with the bigger picture.

Buildings at Masdar incorporate numerous material and construction strategies for minimizing heat gain including metal screening, terracotta cladding and air-filled wall panels. Image © Tyler Caine Exterior sun-shading on the Siemen’s Buildings, designed by Sheppard Robson. Image © Tyler Caine A public courtyard framed by student dormitories for Masdar Institute. Terracotta walls regulate solar heat gain, incorporating screens and shaded, exterior porches. Image © Tyler Caine The modular design of the sunshade panels was parametrically derived from goals of blocking the most sun, allowing the most interior view, while using the least amount of material and the least amount of structure to hang it. Image © Tyler Caine +11

Light Matters: Mashrabiyas - Translating Tradition into Dynamic Facades

01:00 - 29 May, 2014
Light Matters: Mashrabiyas - Translating Tradition into Dynamic Facades, INSTITUT DU MONDE ARABE, Paris, France (1981 – 1987). Architecture: Jean Nouvel, Gilbert Lézénès, Pierre Soria, Architecture Studio. Image © Georges Fessy
INSTITUT DU MONDE ARABE, Paris, France (1981 – 1987). Architecture: Jean Nouvel, Gilbert Lézénès, Pierre Soria, Architecture Studio. Image © Georges Fessy

The delicate mashrabiya has offered effective protection against intense sunlight in the Middle East for several centuries. However, nowadays this traditional Islamic window element with its characteristic latticework is used to cover entire buildings as an oriental ornament, providing local identity and a sun-shading device for cooling. In fact, designers have even transformed the vernacular wooden structure into high-tech responsive daylight systems. 

Jean Nouvel is one of the leading architects who has strongly influenced the debate about modern mashrabiyas.  His Institut du monde arabe in Paris was only the precedent to two buildings he designed for the harsh sun of the Middle East: The Doha Tower, which is completely wrapped with a re-interpretation of the mashrabiya, and the Louvre Abu Dhabi museum with its luminous dome.

More mashrabiyas, after the break...

BURJ DOHA, Doha, Qatar (2002 – 2012). Architecture: Ateliers Jean Nouvel. Image © CSCEC BURJ DOHA, Doha, Qatar (2002 – 2012). Architecture: Ateliers Jean Nouvel. Image © CSCEC BURJ DOHA, Doha, Qatar (2002 – 2012). Architecture: Ateliers Jean Nouvel. Image © CSCEC LOUVRE ABU DHABI, Abu Dhabi, UAE (2007 – under construction) Architecture and image. Image Courtesy of Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Artefactory, TDIC, Louvre Abu Dhabi +28

Timelapse Captures 2.5 Year Transformation of Abu Dhabi and Dubai

00:00 - 3 May, 2014

Humanity’s ability to construct and change an urban landscape is incredible, but rarely do we get to see that interaction at full scale. Beno Saradzic’s "BEYOND: Memoirs in a Timelapse" captures just that. Taken from more than two years of footage from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, this film showcases hourly transformations wrought on some of the city’s most famous buildings, such as the Al Bahar Towers and Burj Khalifa.  

Heatherwick Tapped to Design “Sunken Oasis” in Abu Dhabi

01:00 - 23 April, 2014
Heatherwick Tapped to Design “Sunken Oasis” in Abu Dhabi, Fractured Desert . Image Courtesy of Heatherwick Studio
Fractured Desert . Image Courtesy of Heatherwick Studio

Thomas Heatherwick has been commissioned to transform a 125,000 square meter park in the heart of Abu Dhabi into a multifunctional “sunken oasis.” Inspired by “fractured desert crust,” the park is designed as a series of fragmented canopies that rise to form a three-dimensional landscape across the site. Beneath the cracked surface will be a series of interconnected public spaces cooled by lush vegetation that provide organic produce to local restaurants and space for community gardens.