Foster + Partners reveals finalised designs for the Abu Dhabi World Trade Center

Foster + Partners reveals finalised designs for the Abu Dhabi World Trade Center, the principal building at Al Raha Beach, following two years development of the project. The design strategy is a highly specific response to the climate and topography of this dramatic coastal site and the building has evolved through a process of sophisticated environmental computer analysis. The resulting scheme provides shade while also admitting light; is cooled by a natural flow of air but is buffered against the strong desert wind; is asymmetrical and sculptural yet is environmentally and functionally coherent.

The site is in the precinct of Al Dana, forming the signature element of a new waterfront city east of Abu Dhabi. Located at the eastern end of the vast semi-circular marina of Al Raha Beach, the building extends into the centre of the marina to create a peninsula that completes the lively waterside promenade.

The Abu Dhabi World Trade Center is a multi-use building that brings together offices, apartments, a hotel and shops to encourage a constant pattern of economic and social activity throughout the day.

Wrapped in a shimmering skin, the building’s sinuous form rises up to a tower at its eastern tip. This distinctive envelope is a reactive louvered shading system that is angled to minimize solar gain depending on orientation. The main entrance to the south connects to a soaring central atrium, which is buffered from the climatic extremes by the apartments and offices that line the perimeter.

The form of the building is rooted in a sustainable environmental strategy that relies on a series of passive controls. To the south, the building is indented to reduce the external area most vulnerable to direct sunlight. The services and circulation cores occupy most of the remaining exposed areas. At ground level, the overhang of the roof creates a shaded walkway that wraps around the building, and the roof is streamlined according to the prevailing winds to encourage cooling air currents around and through the building.

The project is due to start on site this summer.

Source: Foster + Partners

Marriot to add 140 new hotels

Marriott International plans to add more than 140 hotels and resorts outside the US and Canada, representing more than 34,000 rooms in key markets including UAE, Qatar, China, India and Thailand, over the next four years.

These projects to be developed across 43 countries are in anticipation of the one billion international tourism arrivals expected by 2010.

Source: Trade Arabia

The Chinese: from Yellow Peril to Green Peril?

Daniel Ben-Ami writes a thought provocating essay on China that debunks some of the generalisations that we have read over the years about China and its disregard for the environment

The possibility that China could become a fully industrialised and urbanised society, with living standards akin to those in the West, has become the ultimate environmentalist nightmare. Whereas China under Mao was sometimes called the ‘red peril’, and before that was sometimes referred to by Western racists as the ‘yellow peril’, contemporary China is often viewed as a ‘green peril’.

Source: spiked – The Chinese: from Yellow Peril to Green Peril? .

Caught out by an urban time bomb

Rural towns – even places like Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Kalgoorlie and Wadeye – are urban time bombs. Their fast-growing indigenous communities represent the biggest challenge facing policymakers in Canberra, Sydney and Darwin.

They discovered that the influx of Aborigines into rural towns has been matched by an exodus of non-indigenous Australians who have moved out, taking skills, wealth and in some cases businesses with them.

In Broken Hill the non-indigenous population dropped 5.9 per cent. In South Australia’s Port Augusta the decline was 6.8 per cent………..

Source: smh.com.au – Caught out by an urban time bomb

Britain’s queen says global warming likely to hit hardest at most vulnerable nations – International Herald Tribune

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II on Monday called on the Commonwealth to help the most vulnerable nations deal with the impact of climate change.

The 53-nation Commonwealth of Britain and its former colonies includes some of the world’s wealthiest countries as well as some of the poorest.

“The impact of pollution falls unequally: it is often those who pollute the least — notably in the world’s least-developed nations — who are closest to the razor’s edge: most affected by the impact of climate change and least equipped to cope with it,” the monarch said in a Commonwealth Day message.

Source: International Herald Tribune – Britain’s queen says global warming likely to hit hardest at most vulnerable nations.

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