" The global financial crisis has derailed construction all over the world — even in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates. But certain megaprojects continue to march ahead, though with tighter budgets, more pragmatic goals, and less ambitious schedules. One such project is Masdar City, in Abu Dhabi. In 2007, the government-owned Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company chose a consortium led by London-based Foster + Partners to design the master plan for the 2.3-square-mile development it touted as the world’s first zero-carbon city. Originally slated for completion by 2016, plans for Masdar included housing, cultural institutions, educational and research facilities, and space for tenants focused on the development of advanced energy technologies.
“Masdar is still a compact, high-density, mixed-use development, with well-integrated public transport and a street design that enforces walkable communities and neighborhoods,” says Jurgen Happ, a Foster associate partner.
The planning principles that Happ cites are evident in the first piece of the development — 680,000 square feet of a 3.7 million-square-foot campus designed by Foster for the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. Occupied since November, the completed portion of this graduate-level university dedicated to the study of sustainability comprises a laboratory, a library, and student housing.
Masdar Institute’s campus combines high-tech materials and technologies, like ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) cladding for the laboratory buildings, with features that take their cues from the region’s vernacular, such as glass-reinforced concrete mashrabiya screens that shield the residential buildings’ balconies."
Masdar officials envision that the city will cover 2.3 square miles, as depicted in this rendering, and have a daytime population of 90,000 by 2025.
Excerpts from the article by Sona Nambiar and Joann Gonchar, AIA.
All pictures downloaded from archrecord.construction.com