ARADA has selected Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) to design the Central Hub for the company’s master plan in Sharjah, UAE. The master plan was developed with environmental considerations meant to minimize the consumption of resources. Treated wastewater will be used for irrigation and the architecture will incorporate active and passive measures to lower the demand for indoor cooling.
The ZHA design is meant to mimic the moment a water droplet strikes the earth. However, the design’s elliptical buildings are not just meant to achieve the raindrop aesthetic, but also channel prevailing winds into civic spaces and courtyards to facilitate cooling during the summer months.
At the heart of the 1.9 million-sf hub is a central observation tower that is surrounded by vibrant public squares with water features that are irrigated by recovered and recycled water. Tensile canopies sustain a microclimate at the ground level for the gardens of native species.
The Central Hub’s first phase includes an adventure activity zone, a food market, and outdoor events space. The first phase is scheduled to be completed in 2019 with the entire project expected to be completed by 2025. CH2M will handle the infrastructure design duties for the project.