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Masdar Plaza Abu Dhabi

Architecture Contest in UAE – design by LAVA, architects

28 Aug 2009

Masdar Plaza


Design: LAVA

Masdar Plaza UAE

The future wellbeing of cities around the globe depends on mankind’s ability to develop and integrate sustainable technology. Masdar City is the city of the future; positioned at the forefront of integrating sustainable technology into modern architectural design.

Rome, Athens, Florence; most great historical cities have had the plaza, forum, or square at their epicentre – where the life, values, ideals, and vision of the population evolved. Equally, the centre of Masdar must be an iconic beacon that attracts global attention to sustainable technology. We see Masdar Plaza as “The Oasis of the Future”: a living, breathing, active, adaptive environ; stimulated by the social interaction of people, and spotlighting the use and benefits of sustainable technology. Hence, our design proposal focuses on the delivery of three key issues:

performance – to demonstrate the use and benefits of sustainable technology in a modern, dynamic, iconic architectural environment

activation – to activate or operate the sustainable technology in accordance with the functional needs of this environment 24 hours a day and 365 days of the year.

interaction – to encourage and stimulate a social dynamic where the life, values, ideals, and vision of the population of Masdar evolve.

Masdar Plaza Abu Dhabi Masdar Plaza Masdar Plaza Abu Dhabi Masdar Plaza Abu Dhabi

The “Oasis of the Future” is conceived as an open spatial experience. Whereby, all features; whether hotel, conference, shopping, or leisure, offer the highest quality of indoor and outdoor comfort and interaction. As in the case of an oasis, the Plaza is the social epicentre of Masdar; opening 24-hour access to all public facilities. Interactive, heat sensitive technology activates low intensity lighting in response to pedestrian traffic and mobile phone usage. The “Oasis of the Future” demonstrates sustainable technology in a user-friendly architectural environment – flexible use of space, outdoor and indoor comfort, and optimum performance.

The Oasis of the Future
Our vision for the Masdar Plaza is that it becomes ‘The Oasis of the Future’, meaning that it forms a combination of bygone days and the modern era. It is a location whose explicit role is the communal epicentre of the world’s most modern city, a magnet for social interaction and commerce.

The heart of Masdar City needs to set new standards in terms of the typology for civic/urban centers of the future. It needs to provide a fully sustainable, flexible hub for social activities, whilst differentiating itself as utterly unique from an iconic architectural point of view. All great historical cities contained iconic urban spaces – Athens, Rome, Constantinople, Florence… We recognize Masdar’s desire to promote and build outstanding modern architecture throughout this city of the future. Yet, at the same time, these symbolic buildings need to be complemented by imaginative design and use of public open areas. It is always the successful combination of these two that create unforgettable urban developments.

Masdar Plaza Abu Dhabi Masdar Plaza Abu Dhabi Masdar Plaza Abu Dhabi

The Activation of Plaza

Our master plan is conceived so that the entire area is one continuous, spatial, interactive environment – a ‘Loop’ as we like to call it. All facilities, whether that be the hotel, conference facility, leisure, or retail facilities flow into each other and are easily accessible. Yet, at the same time each individual facility has its own private identity. By analysing prospective pedestrian flows throughout the site, our engineering team created this continuous ‘Loop’ to ensure all indoor and outdoor facilities are readily accessible. As the populace flows through each respective facility, the sustainable design features integrated throughout this ‘Loop’ allow for the lowest possible energy expenditure whilst creating the highest possible level of user comfort. Our Master Plan offers everyday users and visitors a continuous, uninterrupted, passage through all retail, leisure, entertainment, conference, and hospitality facilities.

Masdar Plaza images / information from LAVA 280809


About Masdar

Masdar is Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted, multi-billion dollar investment in the development and commercialization of advanced and innovative technologies in renewable, alternative and sustainable energies as well as green design. By applying scale and leveraging Abu Dhabi’s low-cost, tax-free manufacturing base, businesses will enjoy significant competitive advantages, allowing them to compete internationally and provide significant diversification to the Abu Dhabi economy. On February 9, 2008, Masdar broke ground for Masdar City, the world’s first zero-carbon, zero-waste, car-free city.

Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE

Masdar Design Contest : main page re LAVA’s design

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