The Green City: Jumeirah Gardens


[Image: Master-plan aerial]

Say what you want about the construction boom in Dubai, but one thing is for certain: this place is the future, but now. Seriously – expect sci-fi movies to be filming there, and for the rest of the world to be playing catch-up for decades. May or may not be a good thing – but its the truth, my ninjas.

Despite the fact that these towers and individual structures are interesting themselves, I’m personally much more interested in the master-plans / urban design coming out of the emirate, as they offer an opportunity to investigate what the 21st century urban fabric truly is / should be [whereas in most other places designers aren’t afforded so many liberties, and basically zero context]. These projects also have the funding/space/political backing to be feckin’ HUGE, really creating whole new cities [or in this case, cities within cities] in a rather short amount of time – in contrast to urban design in the US, for instance, which must account more for the existing fabric and history, etc [neither is better or worse necessarily, and AMNP isn’t advocating for one or the other – just making a point.].

While the architectural palimpsest of Europe, the US, and parts of China emphasizes the dichotomy that exists between ‘old’ and ‘new’, ‘classic’ and ‘contemporary’, etc., these new large scale projects in Dubai and the U.A.E. [and some in China] leave that conversation behind and look towards the future. I can’t say that I believe that’s better than building an urban area over a longer period of time – hundreds of years, whatever – but it will definitely propel design, planning, and construction [along with all technologies involved] into the 21st century in a serious way. I’m interested in seeing how the international involvement in these projects [in terms of architects/designers anyways] starts to influence the building in other countries, namely the countries of Europe and the U.S.

Moving along, here are images from the proposal for the Jumeirah Gardens master-plan by SOM Chicago and Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill, with 3 major new towers [each of which you’ll see all over the ‘net and in all the design rags, I’m sure] by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill.


[Image: 1 Dubai]

Proposed by Meraas Development, the development will be a mixed-use project ranging from low density all the way to super-high Dubai density [yes, that’s a technical term] zones for housing, businesses, retail, leisure, recreation, parks, and anything else they can squeeze into the 95 Billion dollar project.

The centerpiece of the masterplan is a tri-part tower called simply “1 Dubai”, designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill. The project is three towers that share a connected base, and are further connected to one another at various heights through sky-bridges. Not to be taken lightly, “1 Dubai” will be one of the tallest buildings in the world at over 2,000 feet – and will house two world-class hotels, office and retail space and some of the world’s highest condominiums and luxury facilities, for a total area of 13 million sq ft.

I mean, just look at how big the sky-bridges are themselves [below]. Ridiculous.

From Smith + Gill:

The development’s unique form is also highly functional: soaring clusters of cables and occupied sky-bridges connect the towers together as they ascend. The towers are designed to the highest environmental and performance standards and will serve as a strong symbol of Dubai’s commitment to sustainability.

A true “city center,” the complex is accessible directly by both land and sea. At the base of the buildings, grand arched entrances allow boats to travel underneath the building and into a central atrium space, an oasis in the center of the development. The atria oasis, open from water to sky, is framed by the three towers and the sky-bridges above. The space has the potential to transform into a premier entertainment venue [via].


[Image:1 Dubai, suspended bridges]

The other individual project of note being proposed for the ‘Gardens’ is called ‘Park Gate’ [I’m skipping over the ‘1 Park Avenue’ project, as it looks like a fairly typical phallic and curvy tower], and consists of 6 towers that are connected in pairs by large hanging canopies of greenery [images below].

From Smith + Gill:

[The six towers are] arranged to form a grand garden space and create a shaded microclimate unlike any other place in Dubai. The six towers are positioned into pairs linked together by soaring vaulted canopy structures that umbrella the landscape below. The space beneath the canopies is transformed into a verdant grotto. Vegetation is enmeshed with the canopies and exterior balconies of the towers, creating a highly sustainable 360 degree garden. The space acts as an outdoor “great hall”, providing an unparalleled retreat.

Each of the six towers is 30-40 stories. The development includes residential, commercial, retail, hospitality and entertainment spaces [via].


[Image: Park Gate]

A common thread through all the project, and the  master-plan itself, is sustainability – another aspect of architecture that these project in the UAE are all over. The developer has stated that “green buildings and construction, resource conservation and overall sustainability will inform every aspect of this new district, with tools such as intelligent infrastructure technology and cutting-edge eco design serving to reduce the district’s collective ecological footprint.”


[Image: Park Gate]

So, book some kind of cruise tickets now for 2020 [the project is underway – but there won’t be any cheap airlines left by then, sorry people]. The only thing these ninjas need is some cars that fold into suitcases, and Dubai will be like wherever it was that the Jetsons lived…

.: originally seen over at WAN ->

Posted: October 30th, 2008
at 11:58pm by orangemenace

Categories: architecture,my ninja, please,green arch,urban/master planning,towering pagodas

Comments: 5 comments


5 Responses to 'The Green City: Jumeirah Gardens'

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  1. my god…


    31 Oct 08 at 9:05 am


  2. HA! What’s wrong man?


  3. Question: what if a firm like archigram waited 40-50 years to ACTUALLY be able to create those wild buildings they designed?

    Answer: they’d be constructing in dubai

    dubai is like Archigram’s ‘sin centre’, but to the nth degree. shit is bigger [much bigger] than anything we should conceive as feasable. just LOOK at that image of the sky bridge. SHIT’S WILD! i guess that is what happens when you get a blank canvas to paint on though – sky’s the limit. interestingly enough, it puts a whole new thought/ theory on how to design big, self sustaining and ecologically friendly structures – that is a lot to process, run data tests on, etc.

    basically i’m assuming when we are all dead and gone, the world is just gonna wipe out whole cities and start rebuilding them from scratch [using the ‘Lessons from Dubai’ handbook – by McGraw/Hill].


    31 Oct 08 at 9:24 am


  4. Hi there. it is a very intersting place indeed. Ultra modern and rich with ideas that would only be able to be tried here in Abu Dubai. I am designing things for use over there myself. However, what I am doing is for the countless numbers of immigrant and poor construction workers that are the physical manpower. there. I’ve had to do conceptualizatons of converted Cargo Shipping Containers to be used for those workers that are living in deplorable conditions. These single cargo shipping containers have been joined together in some of my configurations to make what I call Triplexes and then stacked on top of each other to form Domino shaped buildings or my Offset Towers. All of which are intended to provide livable quarters to those construction workers. If my ideas get approved it will be a lot easier for those workers. So we shall see what happens. It is considered to be a humanitarian project and no money was earned or wanted. Also one last comment. This area is being built by a lot of oil money no doubt but it is also a “trying out area” for many firms around the world that are able to really design things with the furture in mind. I’m not qualified to comment beyond that but it sure looks like they are being successful. Bye.

    Richard Williams

    1 Nov 08 at 5:15 pm


  5. Having been to Dubai I can say that Dubai is not equal to the rendered images of Dubai we always see. Just by it’s physical location Dubai will never be “green.” Dubai is not the future – just an example of an extremely wealthy city-state making a name through quick starchitect construction. As a city, Dubai is very poorly planned, due largely in part to a complete disconnect between the planning officials and the government run developers. Dubai is definitely an experiment and it will be interesting to see what comes of it. I could go on for quite a while about Dubai, but I will leave it at that for now…

    Dubs – yes, the renderings make Dubai look “wild,” but in actuality Dubai is quite the opposite.


    2 Nov 08 at 3:31 am



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