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Un-built: Masdar City

October 31, 2011

LAVA and Kann Finch collaborate on the international design competition winning scheme for Masdar City, a zero emissions city in the UAE.

Masdar City is currently under construction in Abu Dhabi, and due for completion in 2015. The cutting edge scheme won the international design competition for the Masdar city centre, and is a collaboration between Kann Finch and LAVA. The project aims to integrate the highest standards of sustainable design in order to create a landmark public space that embodies the Masdar vision of a zero emissions city.

The 80,000sqm masterplan incorporates a wide variety of uses, including a retail mall, a five star hotel, serviced apartments, an entertainment precinct and a convention centre. The design encloses a central plaza, with building massing informed by natural erosion patterns to create a ‘heart’ for Masdar city.

Sustainable principles used in the design include:

  • Unique sunflower elements in the plaza, which shade the outdoor space during the day and capture solar heat, then close at night and release the heat
  • The area is powered entirely by renewable energies with zero emissions and zero waste
  • Rainwater capture and greywater re-use
  • Daylight and shading carefully optimised for each facade
  • Perimeter zones act as transitional spaces, providing a thermal buffer between external (ambient) and internal (conditioned) spaces

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