Abu Dhabi to build underground park

8/4/2014 1:33:00 PM

Abu Dhabi is to build a new attraction for its citizens and visitors. As the scorching summer heat – temperatures of 48C and over are not uncommon – will make spending time outside unpleasant, a cooled and shaded underground is the ideal solution. Construction of the park is expected to start next year, and due to be completed in 2017.

Abu Dhabi to build underground parkLondon-based designer Thomas Heatherwick has designed the Al Fayah Park, a twenty metre high shaded garden with real grass, flowers and plants. As the park is required to be energy efficient and sustainable in its use of water to irrigate vegetation, a ‘regular’ outdoor park was considered inpractical. As the studio explains, “counteracting evaporation caused by the intensity of the sun was requiring a significant amount of purified water to irrigate it, produced industrially from salty sea water using a costly and high energy consuming desalination process.”

Visitors will find cafés, play spaces, a library, pools and streams, as well as date palms and community vegetable gardens. By creating partial shade for the planting, the canopy aims to reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation and so will improve the park’s energy efficiency and sustainability. Whilst providing the shade for the oasis in the daytime, the elevated plates also become a network of social and meeting places in the cooler evening hours.

Al Fayah Park – Fayah means ‘shade’ in Arabic – will eventually be home to a landscape of plants and mature trees, forming a series of interconnected public recreational spaces.

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