March 28, 2020

The big interview: Rudayna Abdo


Rudayna Abdo, past director of planning at Otak International, discusses the origins of Otak as well as the major challenges and opportunities facing development in the region. You’ve been in urban planning for 20 years – what made you want to take it up as a career? I started my academic training as an architect but, by the end of my undergraduate studies, I became interested in larger scaled projects and the social implications of the built landscape. I was also attracted to the multidisciplinary aspects of urban planning, so making the transition seemed the natural next step for me….

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The radiant city


Atelier DYJG took on a government commission to work with artists and help rejuvenate Yantai city in China. The north of Yantai city in Shandong Province faces the sea and a range of hills 70m high, while there were major roads to the east and west. It was inevitable therefore that the city would sprawl southwards, and in 2007 the government took the decision to invest in the area and build a museum and plaza at a site along its southern edge. According to the brief, residential areas were to be in the west and south, with a park towards…

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Climbing the walls

mark laurence

Landscaper and arborist Mark Laurence discusses how to help vertical gardens thrive in arid conditions. In the October issue of Pro Landscaper Gulf, I discussed the benefits that green walls bring to an urban environment. In November, meanwhile, I talked about the over irrigation of landscape that tends to occur, particularly in arid landscapes. Maintaining life in a thin layer of growing medium stretched up the side of a building may, after all, seem counter-intuitive to say the least. With that in mind, the question is under what conditions can we make arid climate vertical landscapes work? Water management Firstly,…

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The big interview: Ahmed Bukhash


Archidentity’s chief architect and founder talks to Pro Landscaper Gulf about landscaping trends in the region, sustainability, and what the future may hold in store for the industry. How long ago did the business start? We established the company five years ago. It was based on carrying out high-end residential housing work. We are not only limited to that but we wanted to build a strong foundation. Now we have many projects around Dubai and we’ve also been invited to tender for a couple of projects in Qatar. When you design architecture for a villa, do you also design gardens…

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Praising the roof


Pro Landscaper Gulf looks at an award-winning RHS Chelsea show garden designed to sit in splendour on an office block rooftop, combining technology and tranquillity to create an ambient working environment. Designed by Patricia Fox, of UK-based Aralia Garden Design, this stunning 10m x 20m plot was presented as an extension to the working office that could make excellent use of often neglected rooftop space. The garden was created to inspire people to make better use of unused commercial space by demonstrating that office rooftops can be used as viable garden or work spaces amid overcrowded cities. Patricia’s aim was…

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Design has a new home


Duncan Denley highlights how his team’s move to the new D3 creative hub in Dubai is inspiring and influencing desert INK’s work The desert INK team moved across to its new offices at D3 this month, and we are already starting to realise the benefits of being located in this burgeoning new creative community. There has been a lot of buzz around TECOM Group’s latest business park of course, but what’s it all about? The principle behind D3 (Dubai Design District, D+D+D = D3, get it?) is to offer first-class lodgings to house the region’s design agencies and creative industries….

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The sands have shifted

duncan denley

Last month Duncan Denley, managing director of desert INK landscape architects, highlighted the case for designing local. In this issue, he says local consultants can replace the ‘starchitects’ and o­ffer clients a truly international-standard product. There was, of course, a time when clients were forced to look overseas when seeking landscape designs of a truly international standard. Landscape was largely limited to extensive lawns, punctuated by date palms and a scattering of brightly coloured bedding plants to add a touch of colour. Landscape design was essentially a horticultural exercise, with work carried out by agricultural engineers and vast teams of…

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Looking cool in the shade


Renowned company wt Burden built a series of sunshades along the first 7km of the Jumeirah Corniche running track in the Emirates. The stylish structures also had to be tough enough to handle beach-front conditions. Running along an area behind the Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa up to Burj Al Arab Hotel, the Jumeirah Corniche running track is a 14km path – the longest in the Emirates. The paved walkway and running track was constructed to encourage residents and tourists to enjoy a variety of sports, including jogging and walking, as well as other open-air activities. The project, the…

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An artificial answer


The rapid development of the United Arab Emirates has put significant pressure on its natural resources, with water management one of the major challenges. Easigrass argues that artificial grass could be part of the answer. The staggering success of the UAE is well documented; in a relatively short period of time millions have flocked to the country to take advantage of its flourishing industries. The unprecedented growth of the UAE has also created its most significant environmental challenge so far – water management. The UAE is one of the driest countries in the world yet, per capita, it uses 83%…

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Sensory Adventure


Nigel Abbey Design Consultants and The Garden Builders combined to produce an exciting and beautiful play and learning space at a London school to encourage its pupils to use all their senses in a bright and safe environment. The brief was to create a sensory garden suitable for nursery and reception-aged children (three to six years old). Up to 60 children could use the garden at any one time so it needed to be low maintenance with limited planting. William Morris Primary School sits next to a large council housing estate and affordable housing in Merton Borough, a socially mixed…

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