thomas heatherwick greens the desert with al fayah park
thomas heatherwick greens the desert with al fayah park thomas heatherwick greens the desert with al fayah park
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

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    489,447 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample