Abu Dhabi Urban Park Regeneration, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

CRJA-IBI Group was selected to compete in a competition to regenerate an existing 80,000 m2 urban park in Abu Dhabi. Design teams were asked to redesign the park to showcase innovative, environmentally sustainable strategies for both an interior and exterior landscape destination. An office and innovation space, opportunities for small-scale commercial activity and for cultural and community engagement were included in the brief.

Today the park’s perimeter walls, formal layout and features are simply superimposed upon the city without much regard for the park’s setting or context. The park feels isolated from the neighboring residential blocks and communities – an annexed space rather than an integral part of the urban realm.

The new park’s primary goal is to connect and participate with the existing urban fabric, to become a community focused public space and a major destination within the city. The proposed park design achieves this with several key features:

Eliminating physical barriers around the park and introducing a major axial gesture that physically and visually connects the park to the city’s major public water-front resource - the Corniche.

Climate controlled landscapes where park and architecture meet in a unified composition. The Biome structure provides a truly unique experience for residents and visitors alike. Inside, the UAE’s rich and diverse ecological habitats are simulated - raising awareness of the stunning natural landscapes; their precious resources and ecosystems. The structure outside provides shaded environments where passive cooling technologies can be effectively deployed during Abu Dhabi’s hot summer.

The Hub is a civic building where the community can gather, collaborate and exchange ideas. The Hub includes offices at a mezzanine level with grand views of the park, a library, coffee shop, open workspaces, classrooms and a central, flexible space.

The event lawn provides a new open flexible space for families, recreation, for public events and concerts.

Small-scale retail and food outlets within the park are aligned and extend from the adjacent residential grid. This human-scale arrangement encourages daily activity within the adjacent communities to spill into the park.

Large and small scale interactive media walls featuring LED, e-paper, motion-tracking and gesture-detection technology provide intimate experiences within the landscape and immersive experiences for events.

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