Can you make a park out of the desert? The studio was asked to re-conceive a major piece of public land in Abu Dhabi. Following the rapid pace of the city’s recent development there was a desire to provide a local park as a public space devoted to the well-being of the people of the city.
Continue reading Al Fayah Park | Abu Dhabi UAE | Heatherwick Studio
Learning environments are constantly evolving to stay in stride with the world around us. The factors that influence how and where we choose to educate our future generation are many. With the pace of the world’s technological innovation, and the increasing level of convenience and distraction it provides, there is a realistic concern that people, kids especially, risk losing a tangible connection and respect for the natural world. As a landscape architect, being asked to shape an educational environment, the first responsibility is to create a healthy, safe and inspirational setting. Secondly, it is an opportunity to bring the natural world out of the background, and back into focus in a fun and inspiring way.
Continue reading Mubarak Bin Mohammed Cycle One School | Abu Dhabi UAE | Broadway Malyan
The design concept for the Central Park is based on a contemporary expression of classic urban design principles and archetypes. The park design will be a celebration of the Sowwah Island vision, seamlessly combing the infrastructure and cultural context of the Abu Dhabi 2030 plan, with a contemporary aesthetic complementing the variety of modern buildings in the heart of the Central Business District. Sowwah Island Central Park is a single composition of diverse component parts derived from a layered system of physical and social determinants, tempered by human and cultural behavioral patterns. The influence of each layer is determined by its relative importance to shape the form of the park as well as influence the design philosophy and project approach. It is meant to be experienced and viewed from a variety of vantage points and to convey a meaningful experience to each one, holistically perceived as an artistic creation in itself.
Continue reading Sowwah Island Central Park and Spanish Steps | Abu Dhabi UAE | MESA
Marsa Al Nejoum has unveiled the master plan for its waterfront Nujoom Islands project in Sharjah.
The master plan of phase one has been approved by Department of Survey and Planning, Sharjah. The developers have completed a major part of the infrastructure including the dredging works and all water canals for the Nujoom Islands, a cluster of natural islands located strategically on the coastline of Al Hamrya in Sharjah, and outside the residential area of the emirate.
Nujoom Islands is considered the northern gateway to the emirate of Sharjah, spanning an area of over 60 million square feet. 95 percent of the landmass including the islands is natural. The blue sea water flow and circulation will give a unique 36 kilometers of waterfront ambience for resident and visitors to the Nujoom Islands.
Gulf Landscaping 2010 starts in Abu Dhabi, UAE today with His Excellency H.E. Rashid Mubarak Al Hajeri, Chairman of the Department of Municipal Affairs inaugurating the event which will showcase both the theory and shared best practice for those involved in the Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 vision. Speakers involved include Masdar architects Foster+Partners and SWA Group, landscape architects for the 11-hectare green oasis including plazas, pools and promenades that surround the Burj Khalifa. Gulf Landscaping is held in the centre of a cash rich market with an estimated US$1000 billion of projects planned or underway in the Gulf, with the UAE alone accounting for a third of this. Gulf Landscaping takes place at ADNEC, Abu Dhabi on 29, 30 and 31 March 2010.
World Landscape Architect is a supporter of Gulf Landscaping 2010.
Over the past two years with the Global Financial Crisis hit nearly every nation across the globe and as a result landscape architects where laid off in large numbers. This was hardest felt in the USA due to lack of work and collapse of the home building market.
Governments from USA, UK, Canada, Australia, China and many other countries kick-started their economies with Financial Stimulus packages which has given some firms more work but has created just enough work to sustain the staff they had kept on.
At World Landscape Architect, however I have noticed in recent weeks that results for tenders and competitions seems to appear on the web more and more frequently.
Will there be a shortage of landscape architect with economies picking up and more work coming into companies? Well if we go back to late 1990’s to mid 2000’s there were many reports of shortages of experience staff at landscape architecture firms in UK, Australia, New Zealand, UAE, North East Africa and some parts of Asia which was driving up salaries and as a recent article by Mark Smulian at Planning Resource raised the issue that CABE has fears that a shortage will occur again….
Like planning, landscape architecture has never really recovered from the 1990s recession. People left the profession or chose not to enter it, leaving a gap in experience. CABE fears a repeat in this recession and say a minimum of 550 new entrants a year are needed on landscape courses.
[SOURCE: Planning Resource]
Will there be a shortage remains to be seen but the outlook looks good for landscape architects currently unemployed with more work and projects appearing daily and the growth in sustainable design and trend of developments and cities incorporating ratings systems such as LEED ND and Sustainable Sites. Also there is a large amount of work that will be generated with the explosion on new cities in Asia and North Africa and the renewal of many towns and cities throughout the UK and USA. Therefore, if your unemployed there is hope yet and if your employed help push your local Universities and Professional Institutions to keep promoting the profession even more so during the current times of stagnant or slight growth to encourage more students to go into the profession and encourage those thinking of leaving to rethink their long term careers.
By Damian Holmes
SIDENOTE: The article by Mark Smulian at Planning Resource titled ‘Greening our cities‘ is a great article that looks at the role of landscape architects, our strengths and weaknesses.