Cool Abu Dhabi

Site:
Abu Dhabi
Size:
1000m²
Scope:
Design competition in collaboration with Claudio Araya + Laura Catra
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Human settlements in areas with harsh weather conditions have faced many challenges in creating habitable spaces, leading to the development of certain strategies throughout history to cope with these conditions. Despite the fact that cultural, constructive, and technological advances have been the main culprits when addressing these situations the resultant always refers to natural systems, locally in this case, the waha (Oasis). In desert environments, one of the natural responses to weather adaption is the formation of the oasis, which creates several microclimates within allowing habitability. When this system was adopted by humans , its development was deliberately used in building settlements, development and cultivation in areas that were previously thought as uninhabitable. An urban cooling system based on the system of the oasis would allow the creation of a microclimate efficient enough to be a comfortable environment. However, this system would not be sufficient to support the programmatic needs of current urban life, because public space is not only an area with a comfortable temperature but rather a support for the collective experience.
Local references for this urban environment can be found in the SOUQ ( local markets) or the SAHN (courtyard), both enable the support for different activities. The SOUQ supports urban flow generating spaces for commerce through a shaded modular structure. The SAHN typology  refers to living spaces that allow for various programs and interactions to occur.  Both typologies respond to the need for a collective space in different forms and times. The OASIS forms a series of cooling systems through the use of vegetation and water collection as a natural filtration system, the SOUK activated through repetition creates a modular system forming a series of passageways for wind as well as a shaded structure against the sun, additionally the SAHN will create a space for leisure and an adaptive programmatic system.  Hybridizing these strategies produces an architectural system in which a habitable and sustainable space can be  produced.