HOK team reveals design for desert oasis
HOK International and HOK sport architecture have combined their design talents to create a masterplan for a major urban community for 115,000 people in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi.
Al Ain will be a living and working, low rise, low impact, ecologically-aware alternative to Abu Dhabi and Dubai. At the heart of the city is a genre aimed at fostering healthy, natural lifestyles linking the community with the surrounding low-density green environment. Al Ain is a large-scale ambitious scheme; located on the northeast outskirts of the existing Al Ain city.
Cultural and leisure amenities will connect Al Ain’s various neighbourhoods and business districts encouraging social interaction, community spirit and wholesome lifestyles. A striking multi-purpose dome with a 40, 000 seat enclosed stadium will create a sporting focus on the 900 hectare site.
The masterplan has been designed to encourage energy efficient, water-based transport. Extensive canals and waterways will link the city’s residential areas, academic departments, health facilities, schools and the sports/football academy. Recycled water will be used not only for replenishing the waterways but for the landscape, golf course and city shelter belts – keeping the desert at bay. All buildings will be adapted to work efficiently in the desert environment, with extensive solar shading and use of appropriate material for the desert location.
Al Ain is truly mixed-use and fully integrates the social, cultural and economic objectives of the city and comprises 30,000 apartments, 3,500 residential villas, 800,000 m² retail and leisure facilities and 1.5 million m² office space as well as religious and public health amenities.
HOK is currently in the process of finalising the masterplan due for completion at the end of summer 2007. It also carried out the feasibility planning study, masterplanning, sports and building prototype design. Buro Happold is providing infrastructure planning and design.
Al Ain is located in the desert at the foothills of the Jebel Hafleet mountain range and at a midpoint between Abu Dhabi city and Dubai.