The Green City: Jumeirah Gardens

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[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.

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[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].

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[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].

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[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.”

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[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

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