zayed university by BRT architekten / hadi teherani zayed university by BRT architekten / hadi teherani
feb 17, 2014

zayed university by BRT architekten / hadi teherani

zayed university by BRT architekten / hadi teherani
photo © jörg hempel
all images courtesy of hadi teherani architects




strategically positioned between abu dhabi and the city’s international airport, ‘zayed university‘ is part of a masterplan designed to mark the entrance of the region’s ‘capital district‘. developed by BRT architekten / hadi teherani interior GmbH, the project combines a number of contemporary and traditional architectural and engineering elements that reference the united arab emirates’ national identity and heritage.


due to increased demand for undergraduate courses, the university decided to develop a new campus, allowing the school to expand and improve its existing programs, forming an academic research facility that meets the highest worldwide standards. providing facilities for 6,000 students, the campus will also accommodate the zayed international college, a center offering high-quality education to students of all nationalities.

zayed university BRT architekten designboom
photo © jörg hempel




the 80 hectare site comprises faculty and administration buildings, classrooms, science and computer labs, an 18,000 square meter library and a cafeteria. in addition, a sports complex and a conference center are both equipped with the latest technologies capable of hosting a range of national and international events. understanding that a lot of learning occurs outside of the classroom environment, the design team created a number of spaces which encourage and foster social interaction.

zayed university BRT architekten designboom
photo © jörg hempel




the site is arranged around a formal axis that divides the male and female campuses, while a promenade connects the clusters to a centrally situated courtyard. a podium encircles the scheme providing a solid visual basis for the glazed structures, while outdoor stairways, ramps, and sheltered colonnades are incorporated within the flowing undulating design. above, a distinctive and defining roof canopy references the curvilinear forms of traditional emirati garments, offering necessary shelter from the region’s hot sun.

zayed university BRT architekten designboom
photo © jörg hempel




‘the new campus finds its emphasis in the distinct marking of the focal point. formally, the central functions of the university are linked organically – inspired by the flowing forms of the desert and of the veil. functionally, the integrated, shady outdoor spaces activate communication. emotionally, the academic establishment in the neighborhood of further large buildings devoted to culture and sport, gains an image of its standard that is distinguishable the world over’, explained hadi teherani of BRT architekten.

zayed university BRT architekten designboom
photo © jörg hempel

zayed university BRT architekten designboom
photo © jörg hempel

zayed university BRT architekten designboom
photo © jörg hempel

zayed university BRT architekten designboom
photo © jörg hempel

zayed university BRT architekten designboom
photo © jörg hempel

zayed university BRT architekten designboom
photo © jörg hempel



project info:


location: abu dhabi, united arab emirates
client: zayed university
client’s representative: mubadala development company
gross floor area: 100,000 sqm


architect: BRT architekten – bothe, richter, teherani
project partner: alexander maul
project management: sven breuer, robert erlac, marcus pape, reinhold schleicher, sören senkfeil, steffen thauer
project team: bernhard aumayr, jochen dinkel, louisa dyckerhoff, kim fenck, philipp gubkin, alexander von heyer, gunther klinger, michael langwald, janina martens, alan moquet, katja sachs, andrea seegers, sabine steinmetz, christian thomsen, christian troche, thomas weiß, felix wurst
interior design: hadi teherani interior GmbH
interior project management: nicola sigl
interior project team: dagmar eisenach, anja fischer, marc hölscher, julia hoins, judith kernt, christiane linnekogel, katharina rusconi clerici, antje stratmann, arndt-benedikt willert-klasing
general contractor: al habtoor – murray & roberts


project management/ design services: IBC global/ IBC group. ahmad djabbari
roof structural engineer: ingenieurbüro dr. binnewies. christian böttcher, matthias frenz, henning kaufmann
project control: parsons
facilities management: john buck international
site supervision: cansult maunsell/ aecom
façade: aurecon australia pty ltd/ connell wagner
mep: JBA consulting engineers
architect – construction documentation: pascall & watson
structural engineer – construction documentation: robert bird group
auditorium: theater projekte daberto + kollegen planungsgesellschaft
lighting design: NDY light consulting
landscape: breimann & bruun landschaftsarchitekten
rain drainage and wind studies for roof: I.F.I. institute for industrial aerodynamics


steelwork: al habtoor engineering enterprises
steel work for roof: cleveland bridge middle east
glass façade and roof cladding: shenyang yuanda aluminium industry
grc façade cladding: fibrex industrial & construction group
etfe roof system: vector foiltec
perforated wall panels: alumetal
convention center auditorium: bond trading
joinery works: AHK interiors contract furniture
ceiling and partition: hamilton design international
operable partitions: dorma middle east
lifts and escalators: kone middle east, schindler middle east
furniture: mobili emirates furniture, interstuhl, walter knoll, thonet
natural stone: deemah stone marble & tile works
carpet: vorwerk & co. teppichwerke

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