WAN Awards


WAN Mobile
WAN Mobile
Previous Next
Emerald Plaza, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 
Monday 20 Oct 2008
Hybrid plaza as soothing urban space 
© Emergent Architecture 
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 1

Add comments | More comments

23/10/08 jaireen, hawaii
what an unusuall design!


A contemporary "square" linking buildings and people in extreme hot climates 

The Emerald Plaza project for the city of Abu Dhabi deals with the problem of urban space in a very hot environment in artificial, context-less developments in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Emergent Architecture’s Emerald Plaza design aims to create continuity between the three key elements specified in the brief: a garden, a central sculptural volume, and a network of canopies. At the macro scale, the project is a linking element between three high-rise buildings design by others. Ispired by the souks of Northern Africa as a model for creating interiority and passive cooling as an alternative to open, western public spaces, the canopies merge into a landscaped roof which provides shade for walkways below. This roof also connects the perimeter high-rise buildings together, creating a bi-level entryway into each.

In an environment where people often avoid the outdoors during daytime hours, this project offers a spatial and atmospheric solution; pools in the plaza underneath the roof have a cooling effect, both evaporative and psychological. During the day, when temperatures can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit, this involuted, grotto-like space becomes an inviting sanctuary.

Emergent’s investigation into surface-to-strand geometries lead to the conclusion that hybrid, transformative geometries offer a wider range of flexibility than surface, strand, or volume systems alone. Following this principle the surface of the roof transforms into a volume at the center of the plaza. The resulting space becomes a conference and media center, available to all three buildings.

Laura Salmi

Key Facts

Status Schematic Design
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
Emergent Architecture

Latest Jobs in Abu Dhabi

Architects in Development

Urban Designer

Technical Director, Development Management

Head of Interior Designer

Urban Designer

Design Architect


Click here to view the NEWS IN PICTURES tablet site