London 2012 Olympic architect designs Abu Dhabi covered park

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(Image Courtesy: Heatherwick Studio)

(Image Courtesy: Heatherwick Studio)

Abu Dhabi will today showcase plans for a new 125,000 square metre city centre park, which has been designed by the architect team who worked on the London 2012 Olympic Games and will include a covered roof designed to look like the dry cracked surface of the Arabian desert.

The Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation will unveil the plans for Al Fayah Park at the Cityscape Abu Dhabi property show, which takes place from April 22-24 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

The area set aside for redevelopment is located on Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street opposite the Dome@Rawdhat and will be inspired by the local landscape.

The design was conceived by London-based architect Thomas Heatherwick, whose studio also worked on the Olympic Cauldrom for the London 2012 Olympic Games and London’s new Garden Bridge.

“Al Fayah Park incorporates a series of very special column structures, like the cracked pieces of a desert surface, which gently raise to form a three-dimensional landscape across the site,” Heatherwick said. “These elevated pieces create a perforated canopy of partial shade under which a lush garden can grow, protected from the hot desert sun."

“This sunken oasis becomes a landscape of plants, mature trees and a cluster of public recreational spaces. The twenty metre high shaded garden is conceived as a place for families to gather and picnic, as well as a place for learning and festivals.

“By creating partial shade for plants, the canopy reduces the amount of water lost to evaporation, improving the park’s energy efficiency and sustainability. Whilst providing shade in the daytime, the elevated plates also become a network of unique meeting places in the cooler evening hours.”

Al Fayah Park will feature a public library, picnic area, mosque, outdoor cinema, indoor/outdoor arenas to host live performances and local festivals, play areas, exercise paths and an organic fruit and vegetable garden which will supply the cafes and restaurants in the park, along with an oasis of flowers and plants native to the GCC.

Construction of the park will commence immediately after the design phase is completed at the end of 2014, with its gates opening for the public by the early 2017.

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