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middle east

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January 2018


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UAE – JAFZA, Dubai T: +971 4 8819671 gulf-turf@rainbird.com KSA – Riyadh T: +966 12 6611525 KSA-turf@rainbird.com Egypt – Cairo M: +20 122 2188869 Egypt-turf@rainbird.com

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Editor’s Note In this issue, In our first issue of the year, we explore the changing trends in living habits fuelled by new technologies that are influencing architecture and future designs. From sprawling compounds to vertical towers in the sky, our cities are quickly transforming into smart cities of the future. On page 24 we profile Kuwait’s Wafra Vertical Housing, an example of the city’s new approach to contemporary living. We also look at Wolbae Ipark’s wind tower in the South Korean city of Daegu. In Dubai, Tashkeel’s Zen garden by LOCI architects takes inspiration from Japan’s famous gardens but draws on local materials for its harmonious edge. See it on page 28. Continuing with our theme of past, present and future, we look to Meraas’ newest project Al Seef located in Dubai’s old town which is home to the city’s port and harbour. The landscape developer Cracknell outlines the project’s masterplan and how they achieved an intricate blend of architecture and landscaping which draws on elements from bygone eras. See page 20 In the region, Fedaa M. Al-Khaldi and Dr. Anne A. Gharaibeh discuss Jordan’s waste management strategy including a project that could recycle solid waste, replenish water resources and provide job opportunities for low income population at Eastern Amman. We also focus on a student project to revitalise Heraa Street in Jeddah by turning the street into interconnecting useable landscapes, which encourages it residents to keep active and really enjoy where they live. See page 36 We would like to take this opportunity to wish our readers a Happy New Year!

John Hampton

Managing Partner: Ziad Maarouf Amine Copy Editor: John Hampton Sales Manager: Boushra Dinnawi Administrative Assistance: Sarry Gan Art Director: Ramon Andaya Contributors: Harriet Midwood, Almudena Grande, Hamad Khoory, Hermann, Dr. Anne Gharaibeh, Daniel McNamara, Karen Murphy Printed by: Al Nisr Publishing LLC Webmaster: www.pdinventive.com

For free subscription and to view the magazine please visit our website:

www.landscape-me.com The First Specialised Landscape magazine in the Middle East

Our magazine is available in app store and google play, search under Landscape Middle East. Landscape is distributed free of charge in KSA, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, Eqypt, and Lebanon by Emirates Post UAE Published by:

The opinions and views contained in the articles in this publication are those of the contributors and not necessarily of the publishers. The publishers cannot be held liable for any mistake or omission enclosed in the publication.

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MEMedia Publishing FZ LLC IMPZ PO Box 485005, Dubai, UAE Telephone: +971 4 4470927 Fax: +971 4 4470928


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contents January 2018 - Issue 127

20 24 28

Al Seef, Dubai

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Exploring sustainable cities with smart designs

36 40 44

Amman Eco-Recycling Park

Vertical Living A Local Zen Garden

24 28

The Science of Soil Breaking the Mega-Block Mould

44 32 2


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I news and events

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The First Specialised Landscape Magazine in the Middle East

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I news & events

Lootah during the media tour of Dubai Frame

Dubai Frame to be New Year gift to public Dubai Frame will be opened for public from January 2018 as a New Year gift. The newest landmark in Dubai will remain open from 10am till 7pm. Dubai Frame tickets will be Dhs50 for adults and Dhs20 for children between 3 to 12 years. Entry for the elderly and People of Determination with two accompanying persons will be free of charge. Dubai Frame is one of the unique projects that Dubai Municipality has been keen to implement, which is an aesthetic icon and an architectural landmark that culturally connects the past with the present, and an important attraction for visitors, tourists and residents alike. It is expected to attract two million visitors a year. Dubai Frame or “Berwaz Dubai,� built at a cost of Dhs250 million, consists of two transparent glass towers of 150m height that are connected by a 93m bridge at the top. The space between the towers gives a pretty clear view for the city from a high altitude. On one side, it frames the images and buildings of Sheikh Zayed Road, to symbolize the modern city of Dubai, while the other side of the Berwaz includes landmark areas of Deira, Umm Hurair and Karama, which symbolize the old Dubai. The ground floor is designed to include a museum that tells the story of the development of the city and a presentation of everything related to Dubai. The concept takes the visitor on a journey through time, where visitors enter into an immersive experience representing the Past

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Dubai Frame

history of the city. Projections, mist effects, smells, and motion create the immersive mood setting of the space. The Past Dubai Gallery embodies the idea of the project and tells the story of the evolution of the city and its past, and shows the old city using the latest means of presentation with 3D images that contributes to the creation of a favorable environment that suits the comprehensive boom witnessed by the city of Dubai. After that, the visitors are directed to the second experience on the Sky Deck level that represents the Present of Dubai. The visitors will be experiencing uninterrupted views of Dubai from all sides, Old Dubai to the north, and New Dubai to the south. This is supported by interactive applications such as augmented reality activated screens, whereby the visitor can identify different buildings and land marks, by exploring interesting facts or observing buildings and landmarks in 3D. Modern technologies are used to represent different aspects of the present Dubai, such as architecture, economy and infrastructure. The next experience is on the other side of the mezzanine level, where the visitor can see the Future Dubai Gallery. The concept of this gallery is to depict Dubai 50 years from now into the future by creating a virtual metropolis through interactive projections and virtual reality technology.


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I news & Events

H.E. Dr. Alaa bin Abdullah Nassif and Engineer / Saleh Bin Abdullah AL-Zahrani with his entourage viewing the sports park

NEW NEEM TREES SPORT PARK CONSTRUCTED BY ROYAL COMMISSION, YANBU, KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA H.E. the Chief Executive Officer of Royal Commission in Yanbu Dr. Alaa bin Abdullah Nassif, inaugurated the New Neem Trees Sport Park at Green Belt (Phase IV) on Thursday, 23 November 2017, it’s one of the most unique achievements carried out by Royal Commission in the field of greening in the city and as projected in Saudi Arabia’s Vision for 2030 “Living Healthy, Being Healthy” . H.E. the Chief Executive Officer and his entourage went around the neem trees sports park, which extends to 2500 linear meters (back and forth), the highest quality of materials are used (such as paving rubber) according to international and health standards for exercising like walking, running

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A view of the sports park

Engineer / Saleh Bin Abdullah AL-Zahrani briefing the features in Neem Trees Sport Park

H.E. Dr. Alaa bin Abdullah Nassif giving his annotations

and cycling enthusiasts share in that special corridor road length of 2, 500 M. Engineer / Saleh Bin Abdullah AL-Zahrani, Director General of Operation and Maintenance said that the sport park is one of the most attractive locations in Yanbu Industrial City and exclusive as there are more than 800 Neem Trees planted, which is an effective botanical insecticide, is durable and resistant to insect attacks. He emphasized that Royal Commission Higher Management has continuously provided facilities for sports, health and social terms at one time to Yanbu Community and visitors to the industrial city for a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Engr. Ali Ahmed Al-Drees, Director of Landscaping & Irrigation Department explained in detail each phases of construction of the new Neem sport park as well as planting of more than 800 neem trees, 3,700 shrubs and the total green areas in the park is estimated to 100,000m2.


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I news & events

Alan Lowry, Managing Director of ESF, is pictured receiving the UTV Business Eye International Award from Brenda Buckley.

ESF Awarded for International Success ENVIRONMENTAL Street Furniture (ESF) is celebrating after winning the ‘International Award’ at the prestigious UTV Business Eye Awards, which took place at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall on Thursday 7th December. Based in Newtownabbey, the company design and supply a range of street furniture and site furnishing products. A comprehensive portfolio and the ability to offer bespoke customised products, sets ESF aside from the competition. Since establishing in 2012, ESF has sought to establish a truly global supply chain both selling and sourcing throughout the world, forging and developing partnerships and relationships, as well as undertaking work in the everexpanding solar and theme park markets. The company knew however, that they had to distance themselves from the competition and therefore embarked on an aggressive export campaign harnessing innovation and new technologies. Their enthusiasm paid off and success beckoned with ESF now counting some of the world’s most popular theme parks as customers. One of their most impressive contracts was supplying over 150 themed custom benches and 450 themed litter bins to the world’s largest indoor theme park, IMG Worlds of Adventure in Dubai prior to its opening in 2016. The UTV Business Eye Awards, in association with Emirates, honour the high achievers of the Northern Ireland business community as well as the public sector. Alan Lowry, Managing Director of ESF, said “We are delighted to have won the International Award at the highly respected UTV Business Eye Awards. We were up

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against some very tough competition from some of the most esteemed companies in Northern Ireland, all of whom deserved the award. “We have however invested a lot of time and effort into establishing ourselves globally so it’s incredible to be recognised for our hard work over the last five years. The International Award follows our newly released Stellar Bench being awarded ‘Product of the Show’ at the Innovate UK exhibition in Birmingham last month. Winning these awards is exceptional for ESF and is testament to the fact that we are doing something right.” Now exporting to 22 countries including the Middle East, USA and Australia, ESF has seen significant growth in terms of the products it supplies to the international market. The company has successfully developed from servicing the local market with street furniture to diversifying its products, utilising solar and innovative technology. ESF recently added to their already prolific portfolio by launching The Stellar Bench, a versatile outdoor bench that was designed and manufactured by the company. The Stellar bench is equipped with state-of-the-art features that include USB mobile device charging, Wi-Fi capabilities and LED lighting and it can be uniquely customised for each individual client to include themed or branded ends, signage or advertising.


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I news & events

Myplant & Garden International Green Expo In the biggest trade fair headquarters in Europe, the most important and complete b2b trade fair for horticulture, landscape and garden in Italy presents big news for the February 2018 edition. In three editions only, Myplant & Garden has changed the Italian world of trade fairs in the sector by becoming its utmost protagonist. It is a unique melting pot for all the actors of the industry in Italy and it is earning more and more approval even on an international level, by attracting exhibitors, professionals and buyers from all over the world. Myplant & Garden – the only trade fair that presents and promotes the whole green industry through its 8 macro-sectors (nurseries, flowers, decoration, landscape, machinery, services, garden care, pots) – aims at confirming in 2018 its role of Italian meeting place for the international green industry, by facilitating the creation of networks, meetings and business opportunities, also thanks to the participation of professional orders (architects, agronomists, forestry operators, engineers…), associations (landscape, lighting, horticulture, arboriculture), Italian universities, foundations, PPAA, companies, publishing houses, municipalities, collectives and consortiums, research centres.

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The main objectives for February 2018 – when the most important actors in the horticulture, landscape and garden markets will come together – will be to make known the innovations in the sector, promote products and services, facilitate the best contacts, stimulate the opportunities of economic development, give value to excellence, trigger the dialogue between made in Italy and the rest of the world, offer opportunities for technical and professional updates. In order to follow this process of growth, the edition 2018 of Myplant will add a third hall for a total of 45,000 sqm of exhibiting space – will give more impulse to the research of international buyers, will develop new formative and informative themes relevant to the green industry, will enhance the return of Italian flower markets at the fair, will focus on the theme of decoration, will create special areas for machinery, landscape and greenbuilding, will consolidate the offer in an ever more complete and dynamic way, unique in the whole Mediterranean.


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I NEWS & EVENTS

Left to right: Benoy Kurien, Al Hamra Group General Manager and Mark Chapleski, President, Troon International Division

Al Hamra and Troon in golf partnership deal Al Hamra Group has announced the appointment of the world’s leading luxury-brand golf management, development and marketing company, Troon International, in new strategic partnership Ras Al Khaimah’s (RAK) leading real estate company, Al Hamra Group, has partnered with Troon International, the leader in upscale golf course management, development and marketing, to provide full management services to Al Hamra Golf Club, strengthening the visibility of the destination and providing RAK with an internationally acclaimed golf operator. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, with international offices in Japan, Australia, the UAE & Switzerland, Troon Golf is the world’s leading luxury-brand golf management, development and marketing company. The company operates in 24 countries around the world making it the world’s largest operator, many of its courses regularly enjoy a Top 100 ranking by national or international golf/travel publications. Benoy Kurien, Al Hamra Group General Manager said: “The introduction of Troon’s International Division will help Al Hamra enhance its leisure product offering and increase its global appeal in key feeder markets. The destination has enjoyed considerable success since being introduced to the market place and we are ready to enhance and grow our international recognition and operations still further. “The efficiency and high standards Troon brings to the fore will be a valued addition to our offering and will

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undoubtedly reinforce the synergy between our luxury hotels and our leisure business units.” The premium golf course, designed by renowned golf course architect, Peter Harradine, has risen to prominence since opening its doors a decade ago and now welcomes over 20,000 visitors from around the world every year and has amassed 120 members. The course recently hosted the European Challenge Tour Event for the second consecutive year. Centred around a series of four interconnected open water lagoons that form a challenging and stunningly landscaped par 72 championship course, with five varying tee options on each hole giving golfers of all abilities a perfect opportunity to get the most from their golfing experience. Mark Chapleski, President, Troon International Division, said: “Al Hamra is one of the central attractions in Ras Al Khaimah and the Emirates as a whole. The property is the perfect fit for the Troon International portfolio. When you factor in the quality of Peter Harradine’s design and the Al Hamra clubhouse, along with the proximity of thousands of hotel rooms, you have the makings for a very successful and sustainable golf destination.” As well as the 7,325-yard par 72 layout, Al Hamra Village offers a host of off course pursuits, with the golf academy, a wealth of F&B outlets, including the Bay Sports Bar and Pesto Restaurant, to the Marine and Sailing Club to the first-class shopping opportunities within Al Hamra Mall. Manar Mall - the first and largest shopping mall situated within RAK is also part of the Al Hamra Group, and offers a wide selection of entertainment options for all the family. Al Hamra Village also enjoys a wide range of accommodation options, with over 1,000 rooms across four luxury hotels. Visitors can choose from the Waldorf Astoria, the Hilton Beach Resort, the Al Hamra Residence and Village and the soon to be opened Ritz Carlton Ras al Khaimah, which offers 32 private villas each with their own pool and beach access.


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I Technical Series

Common Irrigation System Design Problems For Residential Applications & Rain Bird Watering Solutions No two landscapes are alike. That’s why Rain Bird has the most diverse, durable and precise irrigation components in the industry. Whatever landscape problems you might have, be worry-free knowing Rain Bird has an efficient, hassle-free solution.

1. Problem: Watering Slopes or Hills. Water can puddle or pool around sprinklers installed at the bottom of slopes or hills, causing soggy areas, which can kill grass or encourage fungus to grow.

RAIN BIRD SOLUTION:

1800® Sprays, 3500 Rotors and 5000 Rotors with a Seal-A-Matic™ (SAM) Check Valve stop the problem of low head drainage and eliminate puddling. Or use Rain Bird Rotary Nozzles which deliver water at a lower rate, allowing sufficient soak-in time to prevent run-off.

2. PROBLEM: Different Plant Types

Shrubs, trees, flowers and grass all need different amounts of water. Delivering the same amount of water to every plant can cause the loss of plant life or you may simply be wasting water on plants that don’t need that much.

RAIN BIRD SOLUTION:

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Often it is hard to get complete and adequate coverage in these hard to reach areas, leaving some areas over-watered and others under-watered.

RAIN BIRD SOLUTION: Sprays installed with Variable Arc Nozzles (VAN) efficiently deliver precise, even coverage in any corner or odd-shaped area of the landscape.

4. PROBLEM: Watering Smaller Yards Smaller areas can be difficult to water, often sprinklers end up watering sidewalks, driveways or spraying against the house or garage.

RAIN BIRD SOLUTION: Low-volume Rain Bird SQ Nozzles precisely water in a square pattern from 2.5 to 4 feet, which results in superior distribution control and uniformity to eliminate over-watering and wasteful run-off. Sprays installed with Variable Arc Nozzles (VAN) efficiently deliver precise, even coverage in smaller yards, any corner or odd-shaped area, or smaller strips of lawn.

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I Technical Series Technical Series

25 Ways to Save Water. 5. PROBLEM:

Variations in Exposure to the Sun While conservation of water is now everyone's responsibility, Rain Bird has Over- or under-watering often results because not been committed the and Intelligent of Water™ for more than 80 years. every part of yourtoyard garden Use requires the same amount moisture due to to the sun. Whetherofyou're working to exposure meet a mandate such as water conservation, or

simply lower your monthly bill, we offer the education and water-efficient products you need to make better use of our most precious resource.

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Installing New Drip System Easy-to-set controllers with multiple, independent programs, like the ESP-Me, allow Tip #1: Understand Your Soil. additional watering times to be programmed for areas with more sun exposure. Low-volume The soil type on your property is an important factor in determining how fast and how often you can water. drip allows the customization of precise water Different types of soils have different intake rates, which will influence the precipitation rate and type of drip delivery to individual plants or groups of plants, devices you choose. The ability of soil to hold moisture and the amount of moisture it can hold will greatly based on specific watering needs and exposure affect your irrigation schedule. A simple jar test will tell you what type of soil you have so that you can to the sun. choose the best drip products for each zone.

6. PROBLEM: Sprinklers Turn On During Rainy Weather Your system’s watering schedule starts when it is already raining.

Tip #2: Choose Your Plants Wisely.

It is entirely possible to have a beautiful, sustainable landscape using drought-tolerant plants and plants RAIN BIRD SOLUTION: that use less water.

Tip #3: Divide Your Site Into zones By Plant Type.

A Rain Sensor automatically monitors weather conditions and efficiently signals the controller Different plants need different amounts of water. Divideto your site intosystem separate groundcover, turn the off zones when so it turf, rains, saving water and saving you money. shrubs and trees can be watered separately and less frequently.

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Technical Series

7. PROBLEM: 25 Ways to Save Water. Compacted Soil and Run-off

While conservation water lawn is nowmight everyone's Certain areas ofofyour haveresponsibility, Rain Bird has been committed to the Water™ for more than 80 years. compacted soil, thisIntelligent conditionUse canofcause

water to you're run-offworking onto sidewalks driveways Whether to meet aor mandate such as water conservation, or without giving it enough time to seep into

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the soil.

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Installing Drip System RAIN BIRD New SOLUTION:

Choose an easy-to-set controller with multiple programs and start times, or choose a controller with the Cycle + Soak option that allows the Tip #1: Understand Your Soil. programming of multiple start times for shorter, periodshow of watering eliminate run-off. The soil type on your property is an important factor precise in determining fast and to how often you can water. Or use Rain Bird Rotary Nozzles which deliver Different types of soils have different intake rates, which will influence the precipitation rate and type of drip water lower rate; this allows sufficient devices you choose. The ability of soil to hold moisture andatthea amount of moisture it can hold will greatly soak-in time to prevent run-off. Low-volume affect your irrigation schedule. A simple jar test will tell you what type of soil you have so that you can drip applies water at an even slower rate choose the best drip products for each zone. allowing the moisture to penetrate into the soil to prevent run-off.

8. PROBLEM: Water Pressure Issues High or fluctuating water pressure can cause sprinklers to mist or fog, in this case water is not delivered to your lawn and garden at the optimal rate. A low water-pressure situation can also affect your sprinklers' performance, Tip #2:to Choose Your Plants leading areas that do not get properWisely. water coverage. It is entirely possible to have a beautiful, sustainable landscape using drought-tolerant plants and plants that use less water. High water pressure can be efficiently controlled at the valve using a Rain Bird PRS Dial valve the point of distribution, excessive pressure can be controlled using 1800ÂŽ 5000 zones Plus Rotors with a Different plants need different amounts of water. Divide yourSprays site intoand separate so turf, groundcover, Pressure Regulating Stem (PRS). For lowshrubs and trees can be watered separately and less frequently. volume drip systems, install Inline or AntiSiphon Drip Control Zone Kits with a pressure regulator.

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I environmental development

Al Seef, Dubai Dubai’s newest public space is a tribute to the past, present and future By: Cracknell Perfectly placed on the waterfront of Dubai Creek – one of the city’s key historic landmarks – Al Seef is a homage to Dubai’s rich history, and rapid evolution and development. The total built up area of 2.5 million square feet is a living reminder of the city’s past, present and future. The story is told, and the scene is set through a considerate and intricate blend of architecture and landscaping. Meraas’ vision for Al Seef was to create a place of memories old and new that are layered in time, showing snapshots of Dubai’s organic growth. Creating the old Cracknell drew inspiration from old photography of local settlements on the edge of the creek. Daily activities included merchants with their carts and donkeys, the hustle and bustle of local markets, fishermen with their nets, pearl divers stepping off the docks onto handmade dhows, and community gatherings under handcrafted, makeshift shaded areas to escape the midday heat.

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The design process was inspired by these elements and materials that made up daily life in Dubai. Against the backdrop of traditional architecture, such as barjeels (wind towers) and arish (palm-leaf architecture), Cracknell’s choice of materials creates authentic moments at Al Seef. In-situ concrete was used to provide imperfect finishes in the old, sandy alleyways. The concrete was poured in different ways giving a less than perfect, authentic look – representing that it would’ve been laid over time. Variety was key to achieving the desired look. Each element that doesn’t conform and match its surroundings – such as handrails, steps, shading, seating – adds to the idea that Al Seef reflects Dubai’s building history. It’s the detail in Cracknell's design that captures different stages of the development including craftsmanship and materials.

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I environmental development Cracknell's lighting approach for the old neighbourhood also adds to the feeling of organic growth over the years, with noticeable layers of building history. The lighting fixture styles differ from one area to another, as they would have been replaced or added at different moments in time. All the lights were selected to achieve a raw style with more traditional materials and textures. These include yellow metals such as copper pendants, wall lanterns with aged patinas for a weathered look, and rusted iron bollards and post lanterns. The lighting ambiance is very warm, bright, festive and punchy with visible light sources from traditional lamp bulbs. Accent lighting to trees and shade structures for the old neighbourhood are concealed in ground recessed cavities covered with brass gratings to avoid any visible modern equipment. Structural elements such as walls were also created with variety – two-tone walls were started with stone or artificial coral and finished with plaster. Shaded areas made from palm leaves (barasti) represent the skill of the local community with the available material at the time.

The planting is reminiscent of Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood (formerly known as Al Bastakiya) where traditionally fruit trees such as tamarind (tamar hindi) and ziziphus spina-christi (sidr), were planted in the courtyard gardens. Other planting that adds to the rustic feel includes ficus benghalensis and basilicum tenuifolium (reyhaan).

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Moving between old and new The transition zone between the old and new has been modelled around the underlying metro line. The area was designed to be open and allow for community activities, gatherings, markets and festivities. New modernity In contrast with the old, the modern areas at Al Seef were designed to be more open with wide circulation areas and expansive outdoor dining. The open space offers uninterrupted views of the creek with yachts docked at the new marina in the foreground. This sits against the backdrop of traditional abras, old Dubai and some of the city’s iconic buildings. Shaded walkways were again pivotal to the design of the new area, allowing direct access from the adjacent street parking to the F&B and public promenade. A representation of modern Dubai, the material selection was minimalistic. Sand-blasted basalt laid for the dining terraces contrasts with the white in-situ concrete promenade and wooden boardwalk, which extends over the water’s edge. The planting palette is a mix of washingtonias, plumerias and pennisetum to evoke a contemporary, minimalist waterfront ambiance.


A water feature originating at the hotel drop-off runs down towards the waterfront and widens out to form a cascade into Dubai Creek. The shallow water body and layered floor represent the natural erosion of the creek into the landscape. Large slabs cross the water, providing seating opportunities within the feature. Here, there’s less emphasis on the lighting fixtures and more on the lighting effects. A minimalistic approach with concealed luminaires was used wherever possible to give subtler light washes. The landscape lighting was closely coordinated with the architectural lighting scheme to avoid clashes and to ensure the harmony between the two elements. The subdued landscape lighting gives the space for the façade lighting to be visible along the promenade. The common lighting thread between the old and new As the lighting installation spans the old and new themes of the development, Cracknell's design approach had to ensure

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continuity throughout to maintain a functional and stylistic thread. Timber pole lights fitted with decorative but functional top lanterns run along the two main pedestrian routes, the waterside promenade and Al Seef road sidewalk. The timber material and lanterns were found to be suitable both for a modern marine environment as well as a traditional setting. The significance of Al Seef The story of Dubai and its impressive journey leans heavily on Dubai Creek. As the city’s only port and harbour, the creek was the commercial hub for trading. Local pearl divers would set out from the creek, and dhows would ply their trade with neighbouring countries, India and Africa. It was from here that Dubai began to grow and flourish. The Al Seef development is re-energising this significant area by providing a beautiful and thoughtful creek side public realm. Old Dubai, the creek and Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood are being revitalised for the local community, residents and tourists.


I vertical living

Vertical Living Wafra Vertical Housing exemplifies Kuwait’s new approach to contemporary living By: AGi architects Wafra Vertical Housing introduces a new concept to urban living that adapts to the evolving lifestyle of 21st Century contemporary Kuwait. Considering the increasing demand for land in the city, the transformation of single family dwelling typologies is a must, where tenants can enjoy privacy as well as benefit from vertical solution amenities and a prime location. Understanding and reinterpreting local environmental techniques is one of the main targets of this design. The services core of the building is thus located on the southern

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wing, in order to minimize sun exposure and consequently reduce energy consumption – acting as a thermal barrier to the rest of the building. Hence, minimum openings are placed on the aforementioned façade, while on the other hand the building opens to the North, facing the sea and enjoying its privileged views. Optimal opportunities for natural lighting and cross ventilation are an essential driving force for the design, which give the tower its character and determine its final orientation. Taking the idea of the traditional middle-eastern courtyard typology


and developing it volumetrically, the initial concept flourishes in the form of the tower. The courtyard is no longer constrained to the core of the building; instead, it borrows light and ventilation from the facade, funnels it through the pool area and flows through all levels finding its way out through the opposite façade. Granite stone is chosen for the façade, in order to give the tower an aspect of a monolithic sculpture that is carved by the wind, in contrast with the smooth surfaces of the interior courtyard that are rendered in white plaster. Functionally and geometrically, the tower is raised on a plinth that comprises two levels, where public spaces – including the swimming pool and gym area – are located. The apartments rise up organically and allow for light and ventilation to penetrate through. The full tower height peaks on level 13, with 12 duplex apartments piled high in order to preserve privacy. An extra penthouse crowns the building, including rooftop gardens and terraces that are advantageously profited.

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I vertical living AGi architects The international design firm AGi architects was founded by two architects educated at Harvard University, Joaquín PérezGoicoechea and Nasser B. Abulhasan. With a noticeable international character and a multidisciplinary focus, AGi architects offers a professional service emphasizing quality, creativity and exclusive design. AGi has a vision to create environments that create a lasting value for clients through distinctive and imaginative solutions. At present, the studio has offices in Kuwait and Madrid, with a team comprised of more than 50 professionals. The studio’s architecture is based on four founding pillars: innovation, an inherent life component, ecological and social interventions and research. AGi architects provides comprehensive services in architecture, interior design and urban planning. AGi architects has been recognized with more than 25 international awards such as: Boutique Middle East Architecture Firm of the Year 2015, 2014 & 2012, Residential Project of the Year 2015, 2013 & 2012, at MEAA; Selected Project at FAD International Awards 2016; Best Religious Building 2014 at WAF Awards; Nomination for the Mies van der Rohe Award 2015.

Team Main Architects: Nasser B. Abulhasan Joaquín Pérez-Goicoechea Project Leaders: Stefania Rendinelli Lulu Alawadhi Project Team: Georg Thesing Juan Carlos Jimenez Cristina Ruiz Alfredo Carrato Ehsan Abdulrasoul Rahimi Ibrahim Abu Fayyad Engineers: Arturo Macusi Joseph Thomas

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Awards: Middle East Architect Awards (MEAA) 2017 Sustainable Project of the Year. A’Design Awards 2012 Silver A’Design Award “Architecture, Building and Structure Design Category Residential Complex” International Property Awards (IPA) 2011 Highly Commended at Arabian Residential Property Awards, “High Rise Architecture”


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garden IIgarden

A Local Zen Garden Tashkeel's Zen Garden was designed by local architecture firm LOCI to create a peaceful gathering place for visitors By: Loci Architecture & Design

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In September 2017, the Tashkeel Zen Garden was completed by Dubai-based LOCI Architecture and Design. Tashkeel commissioned the designers to renovate the existing park adjacent to the organization’s main center. The former skate park had no sense of order and no defined landscape, but was home to existing ghaf trees that played a primary role in the design for the new garden: the Tashkeel Zen Garden. This garden is named after the Japanese Rock Garden, a small wall-enclosed garden which is meant to be seen from a specific viewpoint outside its walls. The Japanese garden typically includes carefully arranged rocks, water features, and gravel to represent water ripples. LOCI used the Japanese rock garden inspiration and combined it with patterns, colours and textures found in the local Emirati context to create the Tashkeel Zen Garden. Tashkeel’s mission statement and LOCI’s design ethos are the same; they both support local talent and use the local context for inspiration to create designs that respects its context. The design for Tashkeel Zen Garden is central around the main natural elements (earth, fire, water and wind), constantly reminding its visitors of the idea of harmony, space, reflection, and the human self. The design of the landscape puts emphasis on textures such as sand grains, wood, plant leaves, and stones, encouraging the exposal of the material’s natural characteristics. The garden includes different types, textures and sizes of desert vegetation suitable for Dubai’s warm climate, yet they complement each other on the overall canvas. LOCI kept the existing signage boards, where the text had faded and was illegible, on some of the ghaf trees. In the Tashkeel Zen Garden, there is no sense of urgency as time stands still. The human being is allowed to exist. Visitors are allowed to wander around and do what they desire, using their intuition

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to navigate, relying on the design of the space to understand how each space functions. There are no signs, text, nor written words dictating how to use the Tashkeel Zen Garden. Instead, LOCI created a single cobble stone path to help visitors navigate around the activity nodes. Although there is no sense of time, there is a large emphasis on the idea of shape and space. The main functional spaces are well-defined using the hanging leaves from the existing ghaf trees, the carefully selected stones, and the circular stone routes. All elements in the Tashkeel Zen Garden are portrayed in their original shapes and forms: the dunes, the grass, the trees, and the stones resemble what they are meant to resemble in nature. Separating the Tashkeel Zen Garden from its surrounding neighbourhood, LOCI designed a backwall constructed from local stones that were handpicked from Ras al-Khaima’s mountain base, a process which played an important role in the design process. The act of handpicking stones also ensured that the colors matched the color of the sand-filled back-lit multipolycarbonate sheets that served as “windows” in the barrier walls, breaking down its rigidity to create moments of light. The sand was personally collected by LOCI from a particular spot in the Emirate of Ras al-Khaimah. One of the most important elements is the junction between the stone wall and the sand-filled panels. The junction highlights the two different materials, but the brown color palette remains the same, maintaining a sense of harmony and balance in the space, and complementing the neighbouring low-rise white plastered buildings. LOCI conducted several circulation studies before choosing the one that best supported a more natural approach. They


I garden

created a fluid circulation through the garden, giving the visitors the chance to transition through the spaces, navigating through the radial paths to reach the five main functional nodes. LOCI designed an area surrounded by three existing Ghaf trees to accommodate an existing trampoline, and produced a “play area� where the landscape itself was created using specialised poured rubber, moulded to mimic the sand dunes found in the Emirati desert. One of the main designed zones is a sunken seating area which portrays a sense of community and gathering, a theme that is encouraged in the Tashkeel Zen Garden. The sunken seating area was created from cast-in situ polished concrete and layered with seat cushions to match the vibrant hues of adjacent plants. The center space of the seating area was created from Hatta grey stones. The sunken seating is

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surrounded by raked gravel stones, emphasizing the radial nature of the seating arrangement. The Tashkeel Zen Garden is home to a bonfire area, portrayed in the most simplistic way, allowing the element of fire blazing from a concrete fire pit as the main feature of the space. The surrounding stones were also handpicked by LOCI to be ergonomically suitable as seating areas for visitors. LOCI also designed a meditation area consisting of a solitude deck, the only non-curvilinear area in the garden. The solitude area was designed to appear hidden, covered by a tree and boulders from Hatta-Oman, and surrounded by raked gravel. The raised meditation deck was created from thermally modified ash wood. The solitude area also includes a rock water feature from which water constantly trickles, creating the comforting sound of moving water. Water is one of the natural elements that portrays purity and encourages visitors to disconnect and relax.


The First Specialised Landscape Magazine in the Middle East

LOCI Architecture+Design Founded in 2013, LOCI Architecture and Design is a Dubai-based firm which understands the importance of relating design to a project’s place and immediate local context, hence their slogan, ‘Think Glocal’. Their design philosophy encompasses that architecture and design are not an imported technology, but rather one that grows from the site’s culture, tradition, history, as well as it’s climatic and geographic context. LOCI received the INDEX design competition award in 2013 for their majlis design “Flow”. LOCI designed the ABWAB Pavilion for Dubai Design Week in 2015. For more information on LOCI Architecture + Design, please visit loci.ae

The Tashkeel Zen Garden would not have been complete without an art installation in the Interactive Art Perspective Area. The hanging pendulum art piece was designed by LOCI, fabricated from brushed stainless steel pipes in a tripod shape, and anchored to a concrete base covered by sand. Visitors are encouraged to place sand on the pendulum which sways in the wind, trickling the sand to create different patterns on the ground, leaving traces of memories by the visitors and their time spent in the garden.

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Tashkeel Tashkeel is a contemporary art organization established in 2008 by Sheikha Lateefa bint Maktoum in Dubai. The organization is dedicated to facilitate art and design practice, creative experimentation and cross-cultural dialogue through a series of workshop, international fellowships, programs and studio facilities. The organization also offers the opportunity for local designers to create limited edition products under Tashkeel’s design product label, Tanween. For more information on Tashkeel, please visit tashkeel.org Photography: © Sandra Zarneshan


I smart concept

PIXA explores the link between urbanization, smart cities and humanity

Exploring sustainable cities with smart designs By: Hermann Kamte & Associates The concept of smart cities was designed to reflect the daily routines of the everyday man combined with their lifestyles choices. Cities are becoming more and more innovative in their design but several methods considered to be pioneering architecture in the previous decade, are now obsolete. Technology is shaping our future at the quickest rate in history. PIXA is a flexible and modular structure which can be easily assembled to create a tiny and large structure by

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replication using a single unit. The Interior space of the steel structure is defined by two abstract natural elements “light and shade�. The design is an experiment of light behaviour in space. The organic Pixa sunbrella fabric is the result of superposition between a translucent and opaque ripped common fabric. The brief was to create a temporary architectural structure with a combination of materials. The light structure represents a masterpiece of technology


as the main attraction: it includes a virtual reality headset where people can explore the past, present and the future. The idea is to share our sensibility, flexibility and plasticity about emotion with the community. The modular Pixa fabric is the cover of the recycled steel structure. Not only used as a cover, the fabric is also defining a spatial disposal for each module. The light steel structure is the boundary between indoor and

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I smart concept

outdoor spaces by creating semi-open and semi-closed spaces, which filter light and reinforced the presence of organic shadow on the ground. The triangular module system was chosen for its flexibility and plasticity. It shows that the modularity of the model is infinite. The matrix is a simple example of the field of possibility. At night, the coloured opaque fabric gives the structure a magical aspect by illumination. LED Lighting is connected along the steel pipes to design and highlight the occupied space.

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I solid waste shredding and water rehabilitation The increase in the population due to natural urban growth and the escalated number of refugees in the last few years is considered a major issue especially in relation to pressure on infrastructure in Amman, Jordan. With this increase, the city faced environmental problems such as pressures on water resources and solid waste management. One of the historical causes for settlement in Amman was the Zarqa River basin. This ecological feature was the heart of the city for many years. Now suffering from decreased water level and worsened water qualities caused by pollution in general. In addition, Amman is suffering pressures on job opportunities and poor conditions in certain parts of the city.

Amman

ECO-RECYCLING Park By Fedaa M. Al-Khaldi and Dr. Anne A. Gharaibeh Department of City Planning and Design, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan.

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SOLID WASTE –WATER TREATMENT (ZARQA RIVER) The amount of waste in the capital Amman is about 3,600 tonnes per day within an approximate rate of 1 million tonnes per year. After excluding organic waste, Amman generates daily 1360 tonnes of glass, paper, plastic and steel. If all of the paper was recycled it would result in 3,550 trees, 30.360 gallons of water, 139,6 pounds of Sulphur, 1670 cubic yard of landfill space, 4554 pound of steam and 182,160 pound of limestone can be saved. There is a misunderstanding related to the economic cost of recycling; the total net cost after marketing and selling of recycled products totally is minimal compared to the traditional way of transporting waste to landfill and disposal of the current waste.

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This is similar to recycled flowing runoff water in Zarqa River, which is the second largest tributary in Jordan, with a length of over 100 kilometers and a width of 7-10 meter. On the river basin lives 65% of the total population of the kingdom. It is constantly flowing with about 2-3 million cubic meters during summer and 5-6 million cubic meters during the winter months (Jordanian ministry of water and irrigation/2009). The water flow starts from Ras-Alain through the project sites and reaches to the King Talal Dam in Jerash and down to the Jordan Valley. This is forming a green corridor linking the capital Amman and the two governorates of Zarqa and Jerash. LOCATION The researchers selected a site for a project that would recycle solid waste, replenish the water course, and provide job opportunities for low income population at Eastern Amman. This project is a sample that can be repeated along the river corridor, in order to provide solutions for the water and solid waste qualities. The final selected site was in Tariq district at the border line with Marka, adjacent to Amman-Zarqa highway and Hijaz railway which rises and intersects with Zarqa River corridor within the site. It has a


I solid waste shredding and water rehabilitation hill adjacent to the corridor where the building will sit and a long river corridor with banks on both sides. Hijaz railway was established during the ottoman rule in 1900, operated in 1908 until 1916 because it was subverted during the First World War. It was linking Syria and Turkey with Saudi Arabia through Jordan from North to South. It is the only railway in the Kingdom of Jordan to these days. Currently, its function is limited to transporting phosphate and some short trips.

PROJECT BRIEF This is an educational, industrial, recreational and environmental project connected together to highlight the importance of creating a sustainable and friendly urban and ecological solution. The water treatment plant will provide public recreational space all year long, in addition to bettering water quality that may be used in agricultural fields along the corridor. The project is expected to create no less than 1000 job opportunities in addition to an educational and awareness center for people in general. The project generates income for municipality which is expected to run the facility and coordinate with waste collection and sorting systems. This area is especially populated by low income population and the project can be a core development and an urban renewal for the area. Hijaz railway-which is a historical marker-can be put in use to transport processed solid waste bales to the outside of the city into smelting factories. The train tracks will be buffered densely by a variety of trees to absorb environmental pollution. Project parts include:Â Part 1: A rehabilitation and educational center that has a workshops and lecture rooms for orientation and educational purposes. The urban space experience begins when the

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visitors arrives to the main entrance of the project, which has the highest location descending with the topography to enter a public space mediating and connecting the parts of the center from left and right direction. It reveals the beginning of the next part of the project. This part contains


the process of education and environmental awareness of recycling and reuse of solid waste and water and it targets the community comprising different age groups especially school students. Part 2: Solid waste management plant (recycling complex) that processes waste into crushed and cut up sorted materials. It contains the process from dumping sorted waste to packing bales of materials. After visitors depart part 1 of the project, they can move on the suspended footbridge, which shows the process of recycling from waste to arrival into the converted products without any physical interaction with worker’s space.

Product recycling circulation process goes as follows: The waste arrives from the different districts of the city through various trucks to be dropped by vertically curved structures, and then it moves on belts to its designated processing line. In each line the operation is accomplished by grinding, cracking and kneading, except for smelting phase which takes place at a location far from the city to preserve the friendly atmosphere for the surrounding residential area. The last stage is marketing the product which are done in two ways, the first is carried out through trucks after the transfer of products from the factory to the long-term warehouses through the structural wall which is located in the west side of the complex. The other method is done after rehabilitation

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of the railway to sell products within other governorates. Then to the next part of the project through a glass elevator that takes visitors to the green corridor. Part 3: Green recreational corridor areas for the public that runs along the water banks. The visitors find themselves at the low level in the project as soon as they emerge from the elevator to see restaurants, cafés and the group of markets that display some of the recycled or reused products as a gallery, spread along the river banks. Then they complete the movement with a closed bridge extending over the treatment area to transport visitors to the opposite side of the river.

Part 4: Sustainable water treatment process for a polluted Zarqa River (water recycling). To replenish Zarqa River, an ecologically prepared landscape using reeds, rocks, and barriers will be implemented. Different species of reeds plants were selected and designed to be absorb pollutants from water. Water flows through reed plant ponds to improve the quality and purify it to be used in agriculture fields along the corridor. Reed plants are characterized by their efficiency and low cost with an average life of 3-10 years and need periodic maintenance through strip paths for workers between basins. These strips also contribute to slow movement of water and stay longer to encourage water filtration and ground water recharge. The ecological corridor and the landscape are the major layers of the park; they are woven together through a network of paths where visitors are educated about green infrastructure within a lushly restored recreational area. Cascades and terraces are used to oxygenate the nutrient rich water, remove the retained nutrients and reduce suspended sediments while creating pleasant water features. In conclusion, this project succeeded to connect urban planning and the industry and solved environmental problems while providing ecological solutions in addition to providing job opportunities and a core for urban renewal in such an important place.


I soil

The Science of Soil

It’s time to stop treating our soil like dirt. By: John Rasic and Daniel McNamara

Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children – Native American Proverb   

Introduction When God created the very first human on Earth, He did not give him a luxury car, remote-controlled TV or air-conditioned office with a laptop on his desk. Instead, He taught man how to cultivate and irrigate land to produce food. Until we can prove otherwise, we can confidently say that soil farming and irrigation are the world’s oldest professions. Soil knowledge itself is as old as humanity and, therefore, older than any other science that we humans know of. But how much do we really know about the world’s oldest science that all of humanity depends upon? It is time to stop treating our soil like dirt!

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The world in which we live is an intricate and wonderful place. There are so many natural events going on around us every day that we take for granted. We are constantly witnessing the effects and power of nature. We are aware of the wonderful benefits but also of nature’s ability to wreak havoc on people’s lives. We cannot control nature so we must attempt to understand it as best we can and learn to harvest from the knowledge of what we discover. Because of the fine balance preserved in nature we can exist on our world when many millions of other planets are much less hospitable and therefore unable to support life. We are fortunate indeed. We are acutely aware of our above ground environment, however, the vast majority of people know little or nothing of Earth’s subterranean domain. In this article we will attempt to expand your knowledge and explain the history and benefits of soil studies and the complexities that exist beneath our feet along with the many variables including the soil types and chemical reactions that create such a diverse and interesting topic. Earth (soil) is one of the key elements which makes up our planet. ”There is nothing in the whole of nature which is more important than or deserves as much attention as the soil. The whole creation depends on the soil which is the ultimate foundation of our existence”- Friedrick Albert Fallou, 19th century German soil scientist. History of Soil Science As previously mentioned the study of soils is as old as mankind. However, modern day Soil science is a relatively young science in which major advancements in knowledge have been made. This knowledge has been attained with the combined use of tools and techniques such as chemistry, geology, physics, biology,


geography, mathematics and ecology, etc. The roots of soil assessment (no pun intended) and the various evolutionary phases of our knowledge dates back to different periods of time and in relation to various civilizations and their subsequent use of soil to grow plants and crops. To date, there are many thousands of different soil types which have been identified officially by their specific characteristics, however this number is steadily rising. If we look back through history to understand how our knowledge got to this point we can diagnose from preserved documentation approximately where it all began. We know that some knowledge was necessary when the earliest known agricultural practices are documented at around 11,000 BCE (Before Common Era). We also know that civilizations all around the world exhibited fairly advanced knowledge by the 4th century AD, including tillage, erosion control, various soil fertility improvement techniques, irrigation, and even the creation of productive artificial soils. Agriculture Agriculture was undoubtebly the reason for the first systematic use of soils and the transition towards agriculture probably represented one of the first times that humans considered soil properties in land use decisions. The earliest known evidence of agricultural practices originates from a site near the village of Jarno in northern Iraq, where harvesting and tilling implements were found dating to 11,000 BCE. It is likely that ancient people during this period used a trial and error approach to determine where best to farm. There is indisputable evidence that ancient settlements were established in locations where soils were favorable for growing crops. Evidence of irrigation has also been found in southern Iraq dated around 9,500 BCE, showing early human efforts to manage soils for specific needs. Ancient Greece In ancient Greece early soil knowledge was based solely on observations of nature. The Greeks did not deem it necessary to conduct experiments to test theories which could have enhanced their knowledge further. However the ancient Greek philosopherscientists developed a clear understanding of soils, recognizing differences between various soils as early as the 2nd millennium BCE. The Greek Philosopher Xenophanes (570 – 475 BCE) once quoted “For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.” The Greeks have been credited with creating the first recorded works that show knowledge of soil properties. Greek philosophers also recognized soil as the source of plant nutrition and also developed concepts of soil profiling. Greek philosopher Theophrastus wrote what was probably

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the first agronomic work, including a classification for soils. The Greeks were relatively successful in choosing crops appropriate for soils found in their various colonies around the Mediterranean and had literature devoted to soil management practices. Despite their advanced knowledge of soil at an early stage, the Greeks did not create what could be classed as true science in their study of soil. The Greeks were excellent observers of nature, but as they did not conduct experiments to test theories, they did not move into the realms of science. Eventually soil erosion became a serious problem in ancient Greece and the Greeks apparently never developed techniques to combat this erosion. The Romans The agricultural knowledge of the Romans was originally developed under the influence of the Greeks. Italy had been colonized by Greece and produced grains under the Greek system for several centuries before the rise of the Roman Empire. Roman knowledge of agriculture and soils was therefore an extension and expansion of Greek knowledge, rather than something that developed independently. The first period of Roman soils knowledge was dominated by Marcus Porcius Cato, who advocated the use of manure and green manure as amendments to improve soil fertility. In particular, the use of green manure was a step beyond Greek ideas concerning soil fertility, and Cato made the first recorded reference to what we now know as compost. At some point the Romans also began terracing their fields to reduce erosion, another step beyond Greek practices. In many ways, the Greeks and Romans excelled in early soils knowledge. However, these early civilizations did not take soil knowledge to the level of a true science. The Middle Ages, Arabian Peninsula In the middle ages Islamic-based societies, which had formed and spread from the Arabian Peninsula were among the world’s leaders in science, mathematics, technology and the agricultural sciences. Earlier works from civilizations such as the Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and Indians were known to Muslim scientists, who studied, combined, and built upon these earlier works. In agriculture, one hallmark of medieval Muslim government was the development and support of extensive networks of irrigation canals. Advanced Muslim mathematics contributed greatly to the engineering of these irrigation systems. Muslim agronomists were also skilled at identifying soils suitable to the crops being grown. Libraries in major Muslim cities typically contained numerous agricultural works, and the Muslim scholars of Cordoba in Spain developed an agricultural calendar in the 10th century that listed, among other items, monthly tasks related to the preparation of soil for agriculture. Soil fertility was maintained through the use of fertilizers such as manure, and it was recognized that different crops had different fertility requirements.


I soil Recent History In the 20th century, soils knowledge moved rapidly beyond its agricultural roots and became an important component across the board in land use evaluations including construction, community planning, environmental work, oceanography, mineral exploration, geography, biology, wildlife, climate change, taxation, ecology and others. We can all benefit greatly from soil science because when we better understand the soil under our feet, beneath our homes, around our schools and other structures that support our communities, we have a better chance of not destroying this nonrenewable resource that we all fundamentally depend on. But what exactly is soil? A comprehensive definition of soil does not exist as soil means different things to various people and, depending on their profession, occupation and interest they see soil in a variety of ways. For example: Farmers, gardeners and horticulturalists see soil as a medium for plant growth to produce the best food and fibro from any particular soil. An agricultural engineer is concerned with soil as porousstructural material, which is penetrable by roots and water. A builder, at least of smaller structures, is interested in using the soil as a foundation. The soil should be stable and free from waterlogging, salts and cracking. Environmentalist are concerned with problems such as blowing dust, soil erosion, contamination and are concerned with site remediation, maintaining/improving water quality and ecosystem to support wildlife diversity. A surveyor’s descriptions are based on different criteria: the genesis of the aggregates into which the soil is formed and the way these formations may break up; or in more detail: depth, layering, structure, texture, parent material etc. Plus the degree of particularisation of the soil profile which can be objectively observed, described and analysed in the field. Contrary to their agricultural colleagues, civil engineers see soil as a construction material for dams, roads, bridges, railways, airports etc. and are mainly interested in maximum compaction to make a long-lasting stable structure. Such compacted soil is highly undesirable for farmers, gardeners, viticulturists, foresters, graziers, environmentalists, landscapers etc. as roots and water do not penetrate compacted soils. Conservationists are interested in protecting soils from degradation which occurs when used beyond its capacity. Landscapers are concerned with soil material capable of supporting different plants and in particular micro environments

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We know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot - Leonardo da Vinci. Benefits of a Soil Survey Volumes have been written about the benefits of soil survey information which we can all take advantage of once we better understand the soil under our feet. Some benefits will be immediate, others will occur over time, and some will be realized only after many years because results vary by location and potential land use alternatives. While a comprehensive discussion on the benefits of soil surveys to irrigation is out of the scope of this article, some very basic comments are mentioned and these could directly influence the outcome of your project.   •  The main benefit of  a soil survey is to provide the right information regarding the use of the right soils for the right purposes. As you want to know if particular crops will work for you, a soil survey describes soil properties that influence plant growth and provide sufficiently accurate information (within sampling limits) that can save you from costly trial and error experiments   • Soil is a natural medium for growing field crops; not renewable in the short-term, but can be very difficult and expensive to improve once chemically depleted or physically degraded. Some soils respond readily to certain treatments and others do not, regardless of the effort. A soil survey can predict with high certainty whether the suggested treatments are likely to succeed and help you to minimize guesswork which may lead to poor choices, unwarranted trials, irreversible soil damage and additional environmental problems   •  Worldwide experience has shown that low yields under irrigation are more directly related to soils than to all other cropping factors put together. If land users are unaware of such a situation, they may invest heavily to only consistently produce poor yields despite the great effort expended on irrigation, machinery, fertilizers, chemicals and infrastructure that they put in place. This may occur because many enterprises are situated on large areas with significantly different soil types that require


various practices and treatments. Apart from some very rare and selected crops, irrigation layout, machinery and management practices are mostly standardized to meet the most basic needs of any given crop regardless of soil variances in the individual crop area. Production line - soils. One of the main benefits of a soil survey is to delineate as accurately as possible the areas with good, bad and ugly soils to determine remedies, irrigation layout and the best management practices to match each soil type as universal criteria does not apply equally well to all variations.   •  Irrigation developments are expensive and are implemented only once (correct or otherwise) and therefore, the best available technology should be employed to achieve the best possible outcome for your investment at the initial stage. In this process, reliable soil information has the same meaning to your project as a foundation to a skyscraper. However, the cost (which generally ranges between 0.05% and 3% of the total set up cost) is very low in comparison not only to the cost of your project, but also to major engineering work such as land preparation, manufacturing, levelling, dams, canals, drainage, irrigation systems, storage facilities, pump stations, power lines, etc. All of these can use and must benefit from soil survey information.   •  Worldwide experience has demonstrated that a soil survey cost-benefit ratio is usually in the order of 1 to 60, 1 to 150, 1 to 200, 1 to 500 or more. In addition, the usable life of a soil survey based on ground truthing and soil profiling is in order of 100 years or more. However, unlike infrastructure, a soil survey is not subject to wear and tear, changes in climate, economy, pest invasion, diseases or water, fertilizer, machinery, and labor costs. Soil survey information can be used and reused for immediate and future purposes and, as such, is a once in a lifetime investment that will outlive your project and pay for itself many times over.  

• Put simply, a soil survey is an investment in knowledge that can allow an informed decision to be produced before the preinvesting and pre-designing stage, and save you from costly and failed experimentation. The soil is the great connector of our lives, the source and destination of all - Wendell Berry.

Summary To the authors…..soil is one of the world’s ‘most valuable’ non-renewable natural resources so vital to all life processes. It contains living matter and is capable of supporting many varieties of life. Soil is a medium for growing food and fibre, filtering and storing water, sequestering carbon, providing the foundations for homes, infrastructure and much more. It is therefore important that more people should take an interest and at least acquire a basic knowledge of soil studies and of the potential importance of maintaining and improving our environment. Our planet has a finite amount of productive soils. In fact it is a conservative estimate that less than 6% of the earths total land surface is usable to various degrees for agriculture. Our planets current population growth is not sustainable with current food production unable to keep pace with the expanding requirements. This is why soil studies will undoubtedly become more relevant and take centre stage in the future as issues with food shortages become more acute. Soil is only a tiny crust of the earth, but you might be surprised to learn that there are more living organisms in one small teaspoon of soil than there are people on our planet! As a Sanskrit text written in about 1500 BC noted: “Upon this handful of soil our survival depends. Husband it and it will grow our food, our fuel and our shelter and surround us with joy and beauty. Abuse it and the soil will collapse and die, taking humanity with it”.  Yes indeed; the Earth is beautiful, glorious and holy.  It is the mother to all forms of life that we know of, yet it does not belong to us - we belong to the Earth. 

John Rasic: Professional Soil Scientist (stage 3) Email: johnirasic@gmail.com www.soilsurvey.com.au Daniel McNamara: Landscape Consultant Email: daniel.optimum1@gmail.com 00-971-52-8242615

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I urbanisation

Creating identity on an urban and human scale

Breaking the Mega-Block Mould By: UNStudio

Following its implementation as a result of the rapid urbanisation of the booming middle class in South Korea, apartment living continues to be the most popular type of housing in the country. In cities across South Korea this type of housing can be found stacked in identical, densely packed, utilitarian blocks. In 2012, UNStudio was invited by the Hyundai Development Company to propose a design intervention for two new residential developments in Daegu Wolbae which would counteract this prevailing utilitarian approach and instead create distinct identities across multiple scales. The result was a provocative yet investigative, affordable and health-focused proposal to break the impersonal homogeneity and the traditions of high density living in South Korea.

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IPARK - Creating points of identity Daegu is the fourth largest city in South Korea and is often referred to as ‘Textile City’, due to its rich history of manufacturing textiles and clothing. As a fashion capital, Daegu is host to a number of annual fashion and textile fairs. These city mega-blocks dominate the urban scale, presenting repetitive silhouettes with little individual identity. In both IPARK developments (Block 1 and Block 2) a pointillist framework of colour in two distinct designs - similar to the texture of a fabric or a media screen - is used to connect and dissolve the individual apartment towers into one consolidated mega-block, whilst creating distinct identities for each development within the Daegu cityscape.


On the urban scale, this use of colour zoning not only reinforces identity, it also establishes community, reveals principal access points and communicates the relationship between the inside and outside of the two mega-blocks. On the neighbourhood scale, the faรงades transform from a typical grid of windows into a textured and articulated field of

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colour. In Block one the faรงade construction receives a matrix of options for additional layers that respond differently to each opening and balcony. All together, they form a system of horizontal bands that extrude over the face of the wall, offering the desired depth and shadow effect. Every apartment becomes unique, reinforcing a sense of identity and ownership for its residents. In


I urbanisation

Block two, a diagonal pixilation of colour blocking is applied to achieve the same results. In both blocks the courtyard facades employ warmer colour tones in order to reflect the more intimate, community scale of these urban interiors. Promoting health and well-being As Ben van Berkel points out: “The pointillist composition of the facade lends both the individual apartments and the whole development a distinct and recognisable identity within Daegu, while the nature-filled courtyards are a singular feature that offer the residents a safe and healthy lifestyle on multiple levels.” Contrary to popular belief, many of the luxuries commonly associated with high-end residential developments are no longer limited to the affluent. A growing consciousness of all things beneficial to health and happiness is resulting in a trickling down effect and a widespread societal demand for healthy living environments. Today’s residents want convenient shared amenities which encourage a sense of community and promote physical and psychological wellbeing. For the IPARK developments, Hyundai Development Company asked UNStudio to assist in creating apartment developments with a ‘people first’ approach: residences are offered more than a place to live, but rather a place to establish a new and healthy lifestyle. The letter ‘I in IPARK stands for innovation and reflects Hyundai Development Company’s commitment to innovate beyond the conventional concept of apartments. ‘PARK’ symbolises a space which creates enjoyable and comfortable cultural experiences. As such the buildings in the IPARK developments are organised around large, programmed communal courtyards. Conceived

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as urban interiors, these courtyards become a shared space for all residents and cater for a wide variety of collective and solo activities. A healthy lifestyle for all ages is supported by a verdant landscape of trees and vegetation, while a forest zone creates a buffer between the personal scale and the surrounding buildings and provides privacy for the apartments on the lower levels. The intent of the landscape design is to create a flexible web of areas that either link to the shared amenities of the development for example the library, swimming pool, retail outlets, community and fitness centres - or provide safe areas for playing, relaxing and gathering.


Extensive planting is interlaced with trails of varying speeds: from a 400m running track, to a gravel forest trail featuring water elements. Wide boulevards link all the individual areas together while smaller paths connect to the lobby entrances of the buildings. Residents arriving by car can choose to either retreat (go directly to their apartment through their dedicated lobby), or engage (stroll through the landscaped areas and meet with neighbours). As such personal time, space and experience can become valuable assets not only at home, but also in shared spaces and in direct association with nature.

Photo Credit: © Edmon Leong, © Rohspace and © Hyundai

Daegu Wolbae IPARK – Residential Blocks 1 and 2, Daegu, Korea Block 1 - 2012-2015 Client: Hyundai Development Company 55, Hangang-daero 23-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea Location: 89, Yucheon-dong, Dalseo-gu, Daegu, Korea Building surface: 199,908 m2 Building site: 50,774m2 Programme: Residential Status: Completed Credits UNStudio: Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos, Gerard Loozekoot with Marianthi Tatari and Joerg Petri, Milena Stopic, JaapWillem Kleijwegt, Deepak Jawahar, Gustav Fagerström, Colette Parras, Hans Kooij, Tina Kortmann, Patrik Noomé Advisors Landscape: Lodewijk Baljon landschapsarchitecten Photos: © Edmon Leong, © Hyundai

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Block 2 - 2012- 2016 Client: Hyundai Development Company 55, Hangang-daero 23-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea Location: Daegu, Korea Building surface: 319,193m2 Building site: 81,901 m2 Programme: Residential Status: Completed Credits UNStudio: Ben van Berkel, Gerard Loozekoot with Ren Yee and Tina Kortmann, Filippo Lodi, Paula Ibarrondo, Harlen Miller, Jan Kokol, Roman Kristesiashvili, Machiel Wafelbakker, Wendy van der Kniff and Todd Ebeltoft Advisors Landscape: Lodewijk Baljon landschapsarchitecten Photos: © Rohspace


I book review

Books of interest Cultivating Garden Style ISBN: 9781604694772 Author: Rochelle Greayer Publication Date: Timber Press (23 Oct. 2014) Language: English

Book Descriptions: Cultivating Garden Style is packed with the latest trends, state-of- the-art products and hot tips that show you how to make exciting outdoor spaces that are personal, practical and fabulous. Style guru and Leaf Magazine editor Rochelle Greayer

Urban Furniture

ISBN: 9789881261687 Author: (Art power International) Publication Date: August 27, 2014 Language: English Book Descriptions: Urban Furniture is a wonderful collection of the functional and the fun, the eclectic and the eccentric within public spaces, reflecting the individual and the collective, from architecture, to sculpture and beyond. Focusing on seemingly

Connected the sustainable landscape. ISBN: 9781743363409 Author: Phillip Johnson Publication Date: Murdoch Books (December 4, 2014) Language: English Book Descriptions: Australian landscape designer Phillip Johnson became an international household name after winning Best in Show at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower and Garden Show in 2013 - the equivalent of winning a gold medal at the Olympics. This book explores Phillip’s philosophy

delights in helping homeowners “channel their inner gardenmaker”. She breaks down the process of garden design into easy steps so that everyone can make gardens that are every bit as liveable in as their homes. Taking the lead from current trends in fashion, interiors and design, this book shows how to get the details right when planning and executing outdoor projects from herb gardens to hot tubs, fountains to firepits, and shell collections to sheds. Ranging widely in mood from ‘Forest Temple’ to ‘Arty Islam’, this carefully curated garden style sourcebook is packed with smart ideas and of-the-moment ingenuity. mundane community facilities, such as fountains, playgrounds, street signs, bicycle racks, contemporary urban furniture has a function beyond the utilitarian. Often its role is key to informing social and cultural identity, in transforming cities and people. By 2026, eighty-four percent of the world’s population will live in cities, increasing the significance of urban furniture. This innovative collection presents some of the most contemporary aspects of city life, whether they are merely aesthetically pleasing art works, formal, functional, or playful it opens up an important dialogue around shared space and what of connecting with nature in a sustainable way. Connected focuses on his key passions including: integrated sustainable water management and the creation of natural, chemical-free pools; recreation of thriving habitats for indigenous plants and animals; and the thoughtful connection of the landscape to the home. Illustrated with lavish photography and beautiful watercolour plans, Connected tells the stories behind the commissioning, design and execution of 19 gardens designed by Phillip (with insights from their owners), ranging from small suburban to large rural spaces, and includes his own home garden ‘laboratory’. His account of the design and construction of his award-winning garden at Chelsea is also featured.

With its headquarter in Tokyo, Japan and world class stores spread over countries like America, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, Taiwan and now in DUBAI – UAE, Kinokuniya is a globally known book seller of repute. The store in Dubai Mall is a massive 68,000 square feet wide paragon book gallery which stocks more than half a million books and thousand magazines in English, Arabic, Japanese, French, German and Chinese at any given time. The Store is also a distinct cross cultural hub wide range of time to time multicultural events such a comic art demonstrations, language learning workshops, book launches etc. The pleasant ambiance, stenographic design and add to it the impressive view of modern skyline – world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, Kinokuniya at The Dubai Mall is just the place to evoke emotions and add pleasure to your book shopping. You may like to visit our website for more information. www.kinokuniya.com

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Photo: R&R CarrĂŠ Bench - Lawrence MA (USA) Photo credits: Jared Steinmark

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Profile for Landscape Middle East

January 2018  

In our first issue of the year, we explore the changing trends in living habits fuelled by new technologies that are influencing architectur...

January 2018  

In our first issue of the year, we explore the changing trends in living habits fuelled by new technologies that are influencing architectur...

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