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

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Urban planning a factor in rising obesity rates, says new report – ExpressNews – University of Alberta

Urban planning a factor in rising obesity rates, says new report

By Isabela C. Varela, ExpressNews Staff
Kim Raine, director of the University of Alberta’s Centre for Health Promotion Studies

March 13, 2008 – Edmonton – If you and your family are fighting the battle of the bulge, look around you: your environment may be partly to blame. Research led by the University of Alberta and funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Information confirms there are links between our urban surroundings and how likely we are to struggle with overweight or obesity

Source:  ExpressNews – University of AlbertaUrban planning a factor in rising obesity rates, says new report –

Cornelia Oberlander lecture – Palm Springs

Landscape architect Cornelia Oberlander lectures on “Aesthetics and Sustainability” at 7 p.m. Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs. $5 to $10. (760) 322-4800. SATURDAY 15th

Green Cities / Green-thumbed in Bat Yam

A temporary but important change will take place in Bat Yam next month. The city’s residents as well as visitors will be given a map by the organizers of this year’s biennale, which identifies 18 new sites that are also called “outdoor rooms.” Each of the sites will house an installation created by landscape architects and artists, which treats the urban landscape as a space for hospitality. The exhibits will be on display for two weeks, in a project by the Bat Yam International Biennale of Landscape Urbanism, which will kick off on April 13. Both local and foreign artists and architects have worked on the installations. The organizers’ aim is to keep at least some of the works, including an urban nature site that will be set up in an open space on Bialik Street, which has been neglected and abandoned.

Source: Haaretz.com Green Cities / Green-thumbed in Bat Yam

HCMC new urban area announces design contest

Thu Thiem New Urban Area’s management has announced that an international contest to design infrastructure for this Ho Chi Minh City suburb will be launched next Monday.

Organized by the city People’s Committee, the competition solicits designs for the area’s central square, a riverside park, and a bridge for walkers.

From preliminary entries, the judges will select six outstanding designs and provide US$20,000 to each designer.

The final winners are expected to be announced in August.

The top entry will get a cash award of $50,000 and the right to negotiate a contract to execute the project.

The next two designs will get $30,000 and $15,000.

The US-owned Sasaki Associates Company is acting as consultant for the contest.

Interested companies can send an email to bqlttqh@hcm.vnn.vn or thuthiemica@gmail.com for more information.

The 657-hectare township in the Thu Thiem Peninsula in District 2 was approved last year at a cost of $10 billion.

Upon completion in 2025, it will have residential areas, financial and commercial centers, an international exhibition and convention complex, and other facilities.