WAN Awards 2015


WAN Mobile
WAN Mobile
Previous Next

Masdar Headquarters, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Saturday 17 May 2008

Greening the desert

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture 
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 1

Add comments | More comments

03/01/11 anon, Cleveland
Teknisk Ukeblad article (Norwegian)
Cancel gigantic environmental project
- The carbon neutral city of Masdar City will not be built, said the Norwegian Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

Sheikhdom Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates would invest 22 billion to build Masdar City. The city, which was designed by the renowned British architect Lord Norman Foster, was driven solely by energy from solar, wind and waste.

Sun, wind and waste
82 percent of energy needs should be collected from solar energy, one percent from wind power and the remaining 17 percent would come from the composted food waste.

The city should be free of cars, and water consumption would be half of current consumption in Abu Dhabi. The first reason the work of the new Masdar City commenced in February, and it should have been completed in 2016.

But now, reports the Norwegian Embassy in Abu Dhabi that the company Masdar finally collected by the financial realities and that it will not be set aside 20-22 billion as previously announced.

- The plans shelved
In a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Petroleum and Energy writes Special Envoy Gunnar Gjerde that one now sees that it will be possible to get 50 000 people to settle in the city in the wake of the financial crisis.

- In the future it might happen, but not by 2016. There is thus a slower development pace of Masdar city, and one concentrating now on development of the commercial section, it says in the letter.

Gjerde also affirm that the city will not be carbon neutral.

- They have also come to realize that the city will not be able to be carb-neutral. There is simply no technology that allows it. Based on this insight change, therefore the strategy, and would rather focus on selected technologies and do not go as wide as previously thought. One thinks also that the technologies to be applied in Abu Dhabi in general, and not just isolated to Masdar city, he writes.

Huge construction project
The project is now shelved had unusual dimensions. Six square miles of desert sand 30 kilometer outside the city of Abu Dhabi would be the construction site the next six years.

The city was 50 000 people and 1,500 small businesses and large multinational corporations to keep, and not from any point in the city should be more than 200 feet to a station for electric trains. The large energy company Masdar would also use CO2 capture as compensation for the CO2 emissions that occurred during the construction. In his speech writing Gjerde that there are many opportunities for Norwegian companies in renewable energy in Abu Dhabi.

But it may still be some opportunities in smart solutions for electricity networks, energy efficiency, solar cell production and carbon capture.
Click for more ...


Chicago firm wins global competition to design first ‘positive energy” building in Abu Dhabi 

Adrian Smith+Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG) has won a global competition to design the Masdar Headquarters building in the emerging ecocity of Masdar, Abu Dhabi - the world’s first carbon neutral city. The building will be the first net positive energy building in Abu Dhabi, producing more energy than it uses. Smith and Gill, who formed a partnership in 2006 after years together at SOM, are no strangers when it comes to designing energy efficient towers. While at SOM the two collaborated on the design of the worlds first net zero energy tower in Guangzhou, China.

In line with Abu Dhabi’s 2030 development plan, Masdar is choosing to emphasize sustainability over height. In addition to being the first mixed use net energy project in the city, the new Masdar headquarters will be the lowest energy consumer per sq ft for a Class A office building in a desert climate. It will feature one of the world’s largest photovoltaic arrays, employ the largest solar thermal driven cooling and dehumidification system, and be the first building in history to generate power for its own construction.

Construction of Masdar City commenced in February 2008. The city will be constructed over seven phases and is due to be completed by 2016. Masdasr Headquarters is part of phase one and will be completed by the end of 2010.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

Key Facts

Status Concept Design
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?

More projects by this architect

Cooper Hewitt Museum 2010 National Design Awards

Re-Contemplating the Void

National September 11 Memorial & Museum

2010 Pritzker Architecture Prize

RAIA 2010 Gold Medal

Bruce J Graham

Raimund Abraham,

Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum

Broad Art Museum

Federation of Korean Industries Head Office

Columbia University Manhattanville campus, New York

Forwarding Dallas

Rising Currents, New York

City Center, Las Vegas

Design It: Shelter Competition

2016 Olympic Village, Chicago

Julius Shulman

Re:Vision Dallas

Contemporary Art Museum at the Presidio

White Roofs

Burnham Pavilions

Guggenheim 50th Anniversary


Calatrava World Trade Center Transit Hub Exhibition

Plaza Program and Green Lights for Broadway

Museum of African American History and Culture

GSA Design Excellence Awards

Lieb House

Delft Faculty of Architecture

Coney Island Revitalization Plan

Ferrari Headquarters

La Sagrada Familia

Villa Villa

Port Authority Tower

Brooklyn Bridge Park

South Street Seaport Master Plan

Phoenix Art Museum Expansion

ASLA Green Roof

450 West 14th Street

Artek Pavilion

Atlantic Yards

99 Church Street Tower

Tour Carpe Diem

Liberty Hotel

Miami Art Museum

Hudson Rail Yards

Smithsonian Museum

Manhattanville redevelopment plan, Columbia University

Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre

MGM MIrage CityCenter

Stone Hill Center, Clark Art Institute

Switch Building + Switch Gallery

Metal Shutter Houses

National Museum of American Jewish History


Nichols Bridgeway, Art Institute of Chicago

Transbay Transit Center

Kamraj Domestic Terminal Building at Chennai Airport

Seattle Art Museum

New Art Museum

Michael Lee-Chin Crystal at the Royal Ontario Museum

P.S. 1 Courtyard Installation

Ed Durell Stone Building

New Central Library for Pike County

Tor Vergata University

Nathan Phillips Square

Weisman Art Museum

Pavilion in Abu Dhabi

Columbia Memorial Space Science Learning Center

Nelson Atkins Museum Expansion

Regalia Holdings

The Olympic Sculpture Park

The Micheels House

Toledo Museum of Art

Museum of Contemporary Art

Rutgers University

Dallas Center for the Performing Arts

Museum Plaza

Yale University Art Gallery


Boston Tower

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Kalahari Condominium Project

African American Cultural Center

North Carolina Museum of Art

Museum of the City of New York

Princeton University

The Museum of Modern Art

Denver Art Museum

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Orange County Performing Arts Center

Cornell University Milstein

University of Michigan


World Trade Centre

Latest Jobs in Abu Dhabi

Senior Site Architect – Healthcare

Senior Site Architect – Healthcare

Architects in Development

Urban Designer

Technical Director, Development Management

All jobs in Abu Dhabi


Click here to view the NEWS IN PICTURES tablet site