mixing work, living, and various lifestyles around a central pedestrianized plaza, MVRDV has revealed the design of ‘pixel’, its inaugural project in the united arab emirates. the 76,000 square meter development, housing a total of 525 apartments, will form part of abu dhabi’s ‘makers district’ — an 18-hectare masterplan community development by IMKAN properties. the project is now under construction and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2021.

MVRDV plans a valley of erupted towers for its inaugural project in the UAE
image © MVRDV (main image © IMKAN)

 

 

MVRDV’s design shows a valley of erupted towers creating a village-like atmosphere with distinct spaces and roof decks, exposing the central plaza. incorporating over 15,000 square meters of commercial and retail space, the project will offer future residents and visitors access to retail, co-working, artisanal, community and commercial areas on the ground, first and second floors. the typical ‘penthouse’ approach is described as redefined: offering studio apartments to a younger generation on every level, and some of the more luxurious and larger apartments located facing the lively central plaza on the third to fifth floors.

MVRDV plans a valley of erupted towers for its inaugural project in the UAE
image © MVRDV

 

 

all seven towers form a solid composition, complete with a restrained and minimal façade design, particularly to the periphery areas which overlook quiet pocket gardens. blending natural ceramics and concrete to reflect the local climatic conditions, the project adopts a configuration spread across seven mid-rise and relatively slim footprints maximizing on views of the waterfront and the surrounding landscape.

MVRDV plans a valley of erupted towers for its inaugural project in the UAE
image © IMKAN

 

 

the weather in abu dhabi is very pleasant for about eight months of the year, yet most housing there doesn’t really encourage people to spend time outside,’ says MVRDV founding partner jacob van rijs. ‘with pixel, we wanted to show that a connection with the outdoors is not only possible in this city, but beneficial. the values of makers district — creativity, learning, and sharing — are all at their core about people. so our design creates outdoor spaces with the pedestrian plaza and ‘pixel’ balconies to encourage a sense of community spirit, enabling this social and creative atmosphere.’

MVRDV plans a valley of erupted towers for its inaugural project in the UAE
image © MVRDV

MVRDV plans a valley of erupted towers for its inaugural project in the UAE
image © IMKAN

MVRDV plans a valley of erupted towers for its inaugural project in the UAE
image © IMKAN

MVRDV plans a valley of erupted towers for its inaugural project in the UAE
image © IMKAN

MVRDV plans a valley of erupted towers for its inaugural project in the UAE
image © MVRDV

MVRDV plans a valley of erupted towers for its inaugural project in the UAE
image © MVRDV

MVRDV plans a valley of erupted towers for its inaugural project in the UAE
image © MVRDV

 

 

project info:

 

location: abu dhabi, united arab emirates
year: 2017+

client: IMKAN
size and program: 85,000 sqm mixed-use building with 525 apartments, retail, offices, makers and community spaces

 

architect: MVRDV
principal in charge: jacob van rijs
director: stefan de koning
design team: edina peli, ronald hoogeveen, mariya gyaurova, akshey krishna venkatesh, kristin schaefer, katarzyna nowak, kevin loftus, luca vacchini, mirco facchinelli, meng yang, katarzyna plonka and ole allin egebaek
visualization: antonio luca coco, paolo mossa idra, costanza cuccato, davide calabro, pavlos ventouris, kirill emelianov, tomaso maria maschietti, massimiliano marzoli and giovanni coni
strategy & development: willeke vester
images: © MVRDV, © IMKAN
copyright: MVRDV 2018 – (winy maas, jacob van rijs, nathalie de vries)

 

partners —
co-architects: dewan architects + engineers
engineering and project management: ramboll middle east
cost control: turner & townsend
landscape and public realm design: BIG – bjarke ingels group
artist: nicole martens