April 20, 2021

Landscape design increasingly a factor in the Middle East


Landscape architecture and creating attractive spaces between buildings is becoming more of a factor in design across the Middle East.

Dubai especially has been viewed as a collection of neighbourhoods which each stand alone and apart from one another, but interconnectivity and public plazas and parks are now viewed as increasingly important.

Developments such as The Beach increasingly emphasise the human factor in design and provide areas for a greater degree of social interaction. Other recent Dubai projects which emphasise connectivity include City Walk (pictured above).

Salim Hussain of Atkins said: “The space between buildings is critical as this is where the full cultural breadth of the city is experienced. It is somewhere everyone can be present and so the space needs to be many things for many people.”

Architects James Rose and Garrett Eckbo, colleagues at Harvard in the USA during the 1930s, were the original pioneers of a movement which adopted ideas about space from artists such as Wassily Kandinsky and from architectural ideas based on Mies van der Rohe’s free plan, which called for flexibility in design and buildings to be arranged in a way which best suited people.

Rose saw landscape as an integral part of architecture. He said: “In pure landscape, we drop the structural shell and the volume is defined by earth, paving, water and ground cover; foliage, walls, structures and other vertical elements on the sides, and sky, branching and roofing above.”

Proper masterplanning is the best way to ensure connectivity in design, according to Pedram Rad of U + A Architects, which is based in Dubai. “In older times cities grew organically,” he said. “So parks and open spaces were part of that process.

“Now open spaces have to be incorporated into the design of modern urban centres. Look at Dubai, for example. I feel there have been a lot of missed opportunities as there is a lack of greenery between buildings. The Marina for example has lots of beautiful water but no vegetation along the promenade.”

Rad said he felt people were starting to want a more natural approach to design in the Middle East: “Residents of Dubai, for instance, are starting to appreciate the fact that greenery is becoming more important.”

“Greenery means a place for people to walk, for children to play, or even just a place to relax and watch the sunset. At the end of the day humans came from nature. We do enjoy seeing buildings – but we also do enjoy seeing the natural landscape.”

Article source – http://www.designmena.com/insight/landscape-design-becoming-a-bigger-factor-across-design-in-the-middle-east

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