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thomas heatherwick greens the desert with al fayah park
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apr 23, 2014
thomas heatherwick greens the desert with al fayah park


thomas heatherwick greens the desert with al fayah park
image courtesy of heatherwick studio

 

 

 

heatherwick studio has revealed images of ‘al fayah park’ a proposed 125,000 square meter public space located in abu dhabi. located below a thick canopy that resembles sun-baked ground, the design provides the ever expanding city and its citizens with a much needed green area within the desert landscape, offering protection from the region’s hot climate for both visitors and the park’s vegetation.

 

embracing the scheme’s location, the project considers the patterns and cracks in the desert formed by the heat of the sun. the scheme’s sectional development also pays homage to how ancient tribes were able to grow vegetables in the shade of palm trees, with a design based on revealing partially sheltered areas of a pseudo-subterranean plantation. the fragmented pieces formed after cracked terrain are elevated on columns, forming gentle domes spanning the site. these raised pieces establish a perforated canopy enabling a lush garden to grow naturally below. this lower level oasis becomes a landscape of plants and trees and water features, forming a series of connected recreational spaces.

thomas heatherwick al fayah park abu dhabi designboom
a lush garden grows naturally below the perforated canopy
image courtesy of heatherwick studio

 

 

 

‘al fayah’ is envisioned as a civic destination where individuals and families can relax and congregate. it also serves as a place for educational activities and public festivals. the project includes cafés, play zones, a library, pools and streams, as well as communal vegetable gardens. from an environmental perspective, the overarching canopy reduces the amount of water lost to evaporation, improving the park’s energy efficiency and sustainability. above, the elevated plates not only provide the shade in the daytime, but become a network of meeting places during cooler evening hours.

thomas heatherwick al fayah park abu dhabi designboom
the project references the patterns and cracks in the desert formed by the sun’s intense heat
image courtesy of heatherwick studio

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