January 2021

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The First Specialised Landscape Magazine in the Middle East

MIDDLE EAST

JANUARY 2021

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The First Specialised Landscape Magazine in the Middle East

EDITOR’S NOTE In this issue, Welcome to the first issue of the year! We have kick started 2021 by featuring some of the world’s most exciting new urban landscape projects and of course, not forgetting, some very special local projects too! On page 30 read about Hong Kong’s new Rooftop Biodiversity Museum and Sustainability Learning Center. It encourages locals to get involved in growing and planting their own food, as well as providing a habitat for the cities’ famous butterflies. We turn to Istanbul where the city’s children are playing in the clouds thanks to a new rooftop park at Marmara Forum, a shopping centre in the Bakirköy district. Children of all ages are catered for and can experience the sensation of touching the clouds with the 8-metre-tall structures, which change colour throughout the day to mimic the subtle changes in natural light. See page 22 We question whether food trucks are part of our modernised urban landscape as they continue to pop up in public spaces, after a rise in popularity during the Covid 19 pandemic, as people opted more and more to dine in outdoor spaces and traditional restaurants shut their doors. See the findings on page 14 We also feature urban residential projects in Dubai and Qatar by local architects who are pushing the boundaries of landscape design for city dwellers.

We hope you enjoy the issue!

Managing Partner: Ziad Maarouf Amine Copy Editor: John Hampton Sales Manager: Boushra Dinnawi Administrative Assistance: Sarry Gan Art Director: Ramon Andaya Contributors: Sarah Hubbard, Leiyah Magay, Neda Salmanpour, Islam El Ghonaimy, matt Matouk, Thanasis Polyzoidis, Wilco Spruijt, Hania Dabbous Printed by: Al Nisr Publishing LLC Webmaster: www.pdinventive.com

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CONTENTS January 2021 - Issue 163

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More than a touch of Green

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Al Bada’a Modern Townhouses to draw in ‘City Wildlife’

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Are food trucks part of our landscape Architecture?

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Landscape Design company with minimalism at its core takes root in Dubai

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Head in the Clouds Modern Elegance Landscape Fluxes

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I SHOPPING MALL

More than a touch of Green By: Uncommon Land

The blue fan palm, Bismarckia nobilis, is not commonly found on the Arabian Peninsula. Subtropical in origin, angular in structure, glaucous blue in colour, it is one of the many unique tree species selected to enhance a major new development in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, known as project Solitaire. Due for completion in 2022, and currently concealed behind a green perimeter wall, Solitaire is set to become an iconic retail destination for the Saudi capital. The scheme, for which Uncommon Land’s sister business Benoy is leading the architecture and interior design, is located in the north of the city and will break from the traditional Riyadhi shopping mall typology to provide a dynamic, open-air environment complete with retail streets, plazas, boutiques and an elevated roof garden.

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For Al-Marqab Investment Company, the client behind project Solitaire, the guiding principles of the 2030 agenda are enshrined in the designs for Riyadh’s new urban retail district. As a representative for Al-Marqab explains: “Part of Vision 2030 is turning Riyadh into a green area. In the streets, there is lots of planting of new trees. The government is trying to encourage healthy lifestyles for local people, and the planting of trees and greenery is designed to make the environment more liveable. So landscaping is one of the most important elements of Solitaire; it will be key to how the project positions itself and promotes the new concept of environmentally controlled outdoor areas. That is why it is so important to plan and plant it right!”

In a region known to be one of the most arid places on Earth, landscaping, greenspace and biophilia will be critical to the project’s success. These components will also be vital to Solitaire’s alignment with the government’s strategic framework, Saudi Vison 2030. Billed as “a bold yet achievable blueprint for an ambitious nation”, Vision 2030 is intended to guide Saudi Arabia’s “aspirations towards a new phase of development”. Central to this vision is a commitment to healthy living and environmental sustainability. Looking to promote balanced lifestyles and new, ecologically friendly ways of driving economic growth, Vision 2030 aims to preserve the country’s natural resources and ensure quality of life for future generations.

Striking a balance The choice of the blue fan palm is a prime example of efforts undertaken by Uncommon Land, the project’s landscape consultants, to do exactly that – to ‘plan and plant it right’. In fact, it is typical of Uncommon Land’s overall strategic approach, which is all about reacting to the nuances of site, climate, geography and architecture. Benoy’s building design for Solitaire, for example, is based on the crystalline form of the geode; a unique geometry which will inform multiple facades and internal finishes across three levels of interconnected space. The striking frond formations of the Bismarckia nobilis speak directly to the shifting planes of the architecture, while the tree itself meets essential performance criteria. Looking to create a green and welcoming environment, Uncommon Land’s design team saw that local palm species and native xerophytic plants, such as the barrel cactus, were too static and harsh in appearance. Seeking softer forms which can move in the breeze and react to different light conditions, the team turned to alternative natives from the acacia family and acclimatised species from nearby regions. For the internal gardens, they chose plants with a more Mediterranean profile, such as citrus and olive. The palette of plants also had to be tempered to incorporate species that will flourish in conditions which are also conducive to human comfort. In this way, the planting strategy had to strike a

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I SHOPPING MALL

balance between the expectations of high-end retail tenants, and the client’s verdant vision for the scheme. On the one hand, retail tenants want good shopfront visibility, clear sight lines, and ambient temperatures in which people are happy to wander, browse and shop. On the other hand, lush greenery thrives in subtropical humidity in which people quickly become hot and bothered. To balance the interests of the client, tenant and end-user, Uncommon Land made astute plant selections that will maximise the green experience without compromising comfort or footfall, helping to ensure both the aesthetic and economic viability of the project.

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Wind towers and water features A unique feature of the development will be its commitment to sustainable cooling via a series of wind towers. Within the towers, mechanical fan systems will help to maintain amenable temperatures throughout the site’s internal zones. The job of these fans will be to move rather than chill the air, producing a sustainable alternative to standard, energy intensive air conditioning. The aim is to create a comfortable environment via passive cooling technology. And as visitors move from internal zones to external areas open to the climate, forced air systems will ensure they remain protected from the desert heat. In addition, enticing water features will create a calming look and feel, while also contributing to cooling with their fine mist. The mist will initially feed the ambient humidity, then provide a natural cooling effect as mist-layered objects dry. Overall, the waterfall and stream features will form a key element of the high-quality public realm and respite areas which are the heart and soul of Solitaire. Crucially, Uncommon Land’s focus on recycled water will ensure the project does not have any detrimental impact on an already water-stressed region. Across all water features and plant irrigation schemes, grey water usage will balance out water requirements in the site’s F&B units, drawing on Riyadh’s civic water recycling system. And once again, the selection of specific drought-tolerant plant species, such as acacia and frangipani, will help to reduce the overall irrigation load.

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I SHOPPING MALL

Sustainability and sense of place During the design of Solitaire, sustainability and sense of place – both vital ambitions for the project – have become inextricably linked. Aiming to create a rich garden aesthetic, the greening of the project site not only helps to manage challenging climatic conditions, but creates a totally unique destination. Across the north and south plazas and second floor, an immersive, verdant experience is designed to inspire and delight – shaping a drama of green space and a radical new landscape for the people of Riyadh. Specific sustainability measures have also helped to reinforce the cultural identity of the project. In the contemporary garden zone, the Uncommon Land team removed all corten steel from the retaining wall designs. Knowing that corten steel is unsustainable due to high levels of embodied carbon and heavy-duty construction requirements, Uncommon Land opted instead for brick. Not only does brick have a carbon footprint

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roughly 5% that of steel, it also has a much closer regional aesthetic and cultural fit. In an area with a rich history of mudbrick building, the brick walls express a deep appreciation of local craftsmanship and heritage. And an open-weave brickwork structure, combined with solid brickwork elements, allows for a constant flow of air through to the building’s basement levels. Uncommon Land also worked with local highways consultants to reduce traffic volumes around the garden area, which will become the external face of project Solitaire. Contemporary and collaborative With extensive landscape experience in the Middle East, plus contemporary design expertise based on a portfolio of show-garden installations, Uncommon Land brings a unique combination of qualities to the table. Offering a different perspective on landscape, the team also has a deep understanding of the singular challenges presented by Middle Eastern geography and climate. Meeting these challenges head-on, the team specialises in using local conditions and circumstances to devise commercially and aesthetically impactful solutions. They are also passionate about addressing these challenges in the context of the broader climate emergency, using design as a vital tool to deliver responsible and sustainable project outcomes. During the design phase for Solitaire, Uncommon Land, with Benoy, worked hand-in-hand with the key project partners including environmental engineers, Elementa; civil engineers, WME; and lighting designers, Delta. In what was a productive

and deeply collaborative process, the partners worked together to navigate multiple project complexities and solve the problems they faced. As the representative for Al-Marqab confirms: “Despite the disruptions of the Covid-19 pandemic, everyone worked together really well as a team. We had regular virtual meetings. It was a tightly controlled process. And we now have the answers to all our questions – we

have the reassurance we need, and the positive feedback from retailers and prospective clients has been amazing.” And with construction teams recently breaking ground on site, this truly remarkable landscape and retail project is now underway, promising a green and sustainable future for the city and people of Riyadh.

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I CITY WILDLIFE

Al Bada’a

Modern Townhouses to draw in ‘City Wildlife’ By: Binchy and Binchy Al Bada’a, close to Al Satwa in Dubai, is full of traditional Emirati character and charm. Existing plots form a long, low line of courtyard villas along the street. The villa walls that line the streets are narrow and human-scale, punctured with trees and convenience stores. The area feels ‘neighbourly’ and people enjoy walking in the shade. The beauty of these vernacular aesthetics, borne as a natural reaction to the climate, was architecture firm Binchy and Binchy’s inspiration for the design of the compound. The architects have designed five compact townhouses in the city, complete with their own private courtyard and roof terrace. The 24x24m plot is split into five narrow townhouses, each with its own back yard and planted roof terrace. The courtyard offers daylight to the rear of the house and maintains privacy from the adjoining neighbour. The architects also saw this as an opportunity to create serene outdoor spaces within an urban setting.

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The dramatic profile of Sheikh Zayed Road’s skyline forms the view from the roof terrace. The compact plot has been carefully planned to allow for each house to afford three bedrooms, a living/ dining and separate kitchen in addition to a laundry room, maids room and parking and two contrasting outdoor spaces. Every room is naturally daylit. Opening the windows behind the decorative brick facade also allows for natural ventilation, drawing air from either the front of the house or the roof terrace. The private courtyard allows the boundaries to blur between indoors and outside, bringing the inhabitants closer to nature and the traditions of the region.

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The courtyard almost becomes an extension of the living room, with full-width folding sliding doors. The planting is contained to a sunken planter, with an olive tree and surrounding ground cover of Asparagus Fern and Jasmine, suitable for the region and easy to maintain. Binchy and Binchy worked with freelance Landscape Designer Paola CH de Saint Víctor, who has been working in Dubai for the past five years, on several multi use residential development and high-end hospitality projects around the GCC. The roof top is divided into individual roof terraces, planted roofscape, and areas for maintenance and equipment. Across the inaccessible roofscape areas, Paola chose low-maintenance red and purple fountain grass, indigenous to arid climates, and the colour of the year-round flowers also complements the rose-coloured brickwork. The grasses can be seen from the street, softening the façade and parapet edge. These fountain grasses also aid in the cooling of the building and encourages wildlife in the city. The habitable part of the roof terraces that are connected to the individual townhouses are simply furnished with individual pots. The tenants can plant to their individual tastes, leaving the level of maintenance a decision for the resident.

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The exterior brickwork is inspired by mashribiya and Al Sadu traditional weavings and stretches across the full facade including perforated sections across the sliding glass windows. This creates privacy and security to the street side. The sun casts shadows on to the brick decoration creating subtle ever changing play of light and texture across the solid elevations. Binchy and Binchy is an award-winning boutique architecture and interior design practice founded in London, United Kingdom, and practicing in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Binchy and Binchy are known for blending regional influences with contemporary design, and believe in an architecture that is ‘of its time and of its place’.

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I FOOD TRUCKS

Are food trucks part of our landscape Architecture? By: Islam El Ghonaimy, PhD and Dalia Eldardiry, PhD

Different shapes and style in creating Food trucks (Truck, 2017)

Food trucks are a phenomenon of the past few years, scattered across cities serving the community with various types of cuisine. These metal trucks are now firmly part of our urban landscapes, mostly located in open spaces within urban areas. As bricks and mortar restaurants closed last year due to COVID 19 lockdown measures, food trucks seized the opportunity to increase their business and thus, we witnessed more and more trucks pop up throughout our cities. However, this can be a cause for concern for municipalities due to the unplanned location, haphazard positions and an increase in numbers of these food trucks in cities. Therefore, this phenomenon should have guidelines to improve residents’ daily lives. Moreover, it

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will enhance the open space conditions and add value to different levels, not only services and economic sectors. These food trucks produce various types of food, and many visitors come to them, especially in the pleasant weather because of their location. Even before the Corona pandemic happened, the outside tables were full of customers. The location of the food trucks is a major factor for customers when choosing to dine, parking for example is a huge bonus for customers. Peak timing for food trucks is during the afternoon and at sunset as customers want to sit outdoors without being in the direct sunlight, however this may become less of a factor during winter when the sun is much cooler during the day. During the


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Corona pandemic, people wanted to go out to any place that could hold beautiful outdoor sessions in the open air. This was the quarantine’s effect and the precautions that were followed by the government, so the best place to go out was walkways, parks and streets. Most of the areas with food trucks have ideal conditions for visitors, as they are surrounded by the sea, grass and trees and normally have good parking options. Moreover, selecting a proper location for a group of food trucks depends on a variety of factors including time, place, and activities. Consequently, it will influence the qualitative performance of the open space. In the last few years, it became one of the elements that engaged in designing open spaces, especially designing parks or vacant areas to harmonize with buildings and roads. Historically, food trucks are ancient, and significant

Food trucks activities: In the gulf region, since the food trucks are the dynamic and mobile element that could be moved from one place to another, there is a need to understand the diversity and similarities of open space use for food trucks, and developing the theory of location attachment in times and places of displacement and change of location. The overarching interest in the transnational city, a conceptual lens that can challenge notions of singular normality notions concerning place value, is emphasized within both of these ambitions. Health practices such as urban leisure walking can be understood as representing a growing sense of sporadic autonomy for people in terms of expression of meaning, bringing food to parks can promote loose social ties and a tacit interdependence. Moreover, the idea of a food truck, provides an insight into the diversity of recreation in a country characterized by a harsh climate, with the need of comprehensive state regulation of public conduct while proposing the location, preparation for space, implementing the idea and the operation and followings progress. (Addas, A. and Rishbeth, C., 2018)

occupation is found worldwide in virtually every country and major city. It is part of the street vending commercial activities. Street vending and the sales can be anything from a strategy of survival to a desperate search for income from subsistence to small capitalism, or diversification of huge business to boost demand as well as boost turnover while food trucks are mobile services, which mainly are for different types of foods services. (Anon., 2020). For instance, for a long time in the old part of Manama in the Kingdom of Bahrain, within the concept of “Al-Farej� there were different types of street vending in different areas serving the Al-Farej with cooked food. To maximize their reach and capture trade from passers-by, the vendors are located in the main spines of the city; the main roads, corridors and passages within the surrounding urban area.

Figure 2: Food trucks, in urban areas Amwaj Islands, Bahrain (photos by the authors)

Food trucks and landscape architecture: In Bahrain for example, there were many locations selected to host food trucks, which are nearby famous places or landmarks such as the American Mission Hospital, Al salam hospital, Zalaq perto; station, Karbbabad, the Alosra supermarket and the residential area of Amwaj Islands and Lagoon, which is visited by people from all regions of Bahrain. .

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I FOOD TRUCKS Most of the food trucks have sitting areas. The visitors usually park their cars in the parking lot and site in the sitting area in the truck’s side. That’s generally happing in good weather. But dangerously, some of the visitors’ park in the middle of the street causing traffic while ordering from the tracks

The study found that some food trucks were located in improper sites, with no landscape criteria or urban concern, causing traffic and urban problems.

Figure 4: Miss site location (Random) for the food trucks causing landscape problem (photos by the authors)

Authorities used rules and regulation to operate and manage the selecting of sites’ location. The national stadium, some scattered vacant areas and near the central market were proposed to have these food trucks. According to the interviews by users, they prefer to find the food trucks nearby the recreation areas when they used to be outgoing.

Figure 3: Food trucks, in sub urban in Zalaq district, Bahrain (photos by the authors)

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Figure 5: Food trucks in specific site by the authority (photos by the authors)


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Figure 6: 50 food trucks in the national stadium areas to attract 160.000 gourmets, run by Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister (BNA(R), October 23, 2020)

Attracting 160,000 visitors in a month, amid the COVID 19 pandemic, is no mean feat. Food truck areas has become the attraction point for food lovers in Bahrain. The latest data shows that the area dubbed “District” is a hit among connoisseurs of good food in the Kingdom. On 22nd October 2020, in Bahrain National Stadium, East Riffa, 50 mobile food trucks in the national stadium offered numerous dishes (local and international cuisines). This event run by Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister, Zayed bin Rashid Alzayani was launched to support promising Bahraini projects and to empower food truck owners, the ‘District’ has played an essential role in creating a suitable environment for the foodtruck industry Bahrain. (BNA(R), October 23, 2020) Finding of the study: Food trucks are a significant sustainable element that have environmental, social and economic impacts upon landscape architecture. Environmentally, the recycling of vehicles to save the environment by decreasing the amount of metal waste. Socially, it is one of the ways for people to take an informal, affordable and easy-to-reach picnic. People enjoy the ease and simplicity of food trucks, they can also encourage group activities, including hiking and

eating at relatively affordable prices, especially during the Corona pandemic. Moreover, it is a source of income for people working in it by providing jobs for workers and a simple way to start a business for people with limited capital that may allow them to expand. There also a source of revenue for governments with permits and taxes required to operate in public spaces. Food trucks played an important role during the COVID 19 pandemic (lockdown period) following the WHO precaution (social distancing and outdoor socializing). Food trucks should use the different elements of the landscape architecture design elements (hard and soft scape). Finally, from the landscape architecture point of view, the research recommends using the main design frames showing in figure 7 while dealing with the food trucks to achieve sustainable and resilience design for the outdoor spaces in cities.

Credit to Department of Interior Design, College of Engineering, College of Design, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, SA eslam_elghonaimy@yahoo.com deldardiry@iau.edu.sa

Figure 7: the main design frames showing in figure 7 while dealing with the food trucks to achieve sustainable and resilience design

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I ADVERTORIAL

Landscape Design company with minimalism at its core takes root in Dubai By: Nishtha Sadana MDO (MOST DESIRED OUTDOOR) is an inspiring boutique landscape architecture, pool design and implementation firm, specializing in high-end outdoor minimalist living spaces for a variety of clients in the UAE and beyond. The company was founded by Ahmed Matouk, known as Matt to his friends. Since opening his dream company in 2018, Matt has forged a reputation for intelligent gardens that are original and functional. Known for his crisp lines and balanced aesthetic, Matt began his career at the University of Quebec in Montreal studying Environmental Design, winning multiple awards for Design Excellence in his final years. He found himself working during his studies in various art and design fields such as photography, graphic design, fashion and furniture which has armed him with an array of skills. Fast-forward to today; Matt has curated a portfolio of pools and gardens for clients across the UAE and GCC. “The concept of ‘less is more’ refines our design style and highlights the important elements that define the spaces color, and the movement of the

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space. Aesthetics, functionality, and wellness lay at the heart of all the projects,” explained Matt. “The idea of creating a pleasing picturesque that highly blends in with the local context and also fosters human wellness is the dream concept we continually aim for. Creating crisp and sleek lines, using bold forms, intrinsic patterns, repetition, contrast, and geometry helps the landscape design stand out with its strong visual connections complementing the stark architectural base.” What Do We Do? “Our work typology in residential projects ranges from mega beach-side residences to small rooftop gardens, mansions, and retreats. These extensive projects help us grow and dive deeper into the industry with the utmost expertise and confidence. From landscape design to landscape construction, our motive is not just designing beautiful outdoor spaces with extravagant features and visual and social connectivity but also offering a sustainable method of execution. Smart landscape construction with minimal wastage helps in aligning our vision while creating an overall seamless experience.

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I ADVERTORIAL

Our work is focused mainly in Dubai with our multidisciplinary team of specialists who strive to provide the best of service through positive collaboration and ever-engaging communication.” This wide array of landscape designers, project managers and horticulturalists are directed by Matt as creative director, alongside Operation Manager, Miguel who shares a wealth of industry knowledge and experience. Sustainable and innovative Design In this world of uncertainty, health and wellness remain at the forefront – in each and every industry. Trying to analyze the problems through the built environment and offering long-term solutions is the key. A similar theory has been applied to our projects – by enabling our collaborative approach to consistently deliver high-quality solutions that are unique and highly customized and tailored for the specific needs of the users. We are delighted to share that most of the clients are repeat business and they are constantly asking us for our advice when looking for the next “big thing” in landscape design.

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Project 1 – Shades of Grey and Green One of our desirable completed projects in the portfolio is the ‘Shades of Grey + Green’ that highlights our design philosophy and overall conceptual approach. With a minimalistic setting, the idea was to create an inspiring outdoor space that sets a ‘perfect’ entrance mood while aligning with the principles of the architectural setting. A careful selection of plantations is adapted to blend into the leveled aura of stone slabs, raised beds, garden spaces and sculptural highlights. Project 2 – Fairway Residence Similarly, a perfect juxtaposition of clean lines and contemporary outdoor lifestyle forms the basis of Fairway Residence. The overflow pool area encompasses the pergola, fireplace with concrete seating and an outdoor lounge area for the residents to host outdoor parties or relax for a while. The incorporated water and sculptural features are highlights. Project 3 – Between the Palms Last but not the least, located on Palm Jumeirah, Dubai – along the beach is the magnificent residence with a perfect architectural and landscape settingperfect for soaking up the luxury and opulence – whether inside or outside. A relaxing outdoor experience with imposing infinity pool enveloped with massive Palms trees facing the sea creates the authentic delightful outdoor experience for the users – just as the design brief stated. There is no better feeling than sipping a cold drink with an awe-inspiring view of the city and the sea.

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I PLAYGROUND

Head in the Clouds The children of Istanbul can play in the clouds at the new Marmara Forum playground By: Carve Iconic cloud structures have arisen in the city of Istanbul. They are a striking landmark in the new open air playground on the roof park of Marmara Forum, a shopping centre in the Bakirkรถy district. The windows of the clouds magically change colours as daylight changes throughout the day. Carve was asked to design the playground on the rooftop terrace of Marmara Forum, 24 meters above street level. The terrace and the food court had been renovated to reestablish the Forum as a prominent shopping centre, and it needed a new playground to match.

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Concept The playground has areas designated to different age groups. Carve aimed at making a connection in the design through both form and experience: the experience of touching the clouds, being about eight floors above the ground. Intelligent Playground The assignment tasked to Carve was to design a high-profile playground, fitting to the renewed vibrancy of the shopping centre. Children should be able to play in the shade if the weather is warm and sunny, and play under a shelter when it’s raining. In commercial areas and terraces often only limited space is available. This conflicts with the high number of children that visit these types of playgrounds, especially during peak hours. For that reason, one of the starting points was to design tall structures with big volumes, fully playable from the inside. From Small to Tall The playground consists of four areas that cater for different age groups — from small to tall, there is a toddler space, a climbing dome, a larger ensemble of spheres and a

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I PLAYGROUND

near eight-meter-tall climbing tower with an internal slide. The interior of the clouds is completely furnished with play elements: children can climb, slide, lounge in a forest of hammocks and experience height from behind a window looking at the city’s skyline or by looking down through the climbing nets. Colours The white paint of the play clouds was chosen to adapt to the weather changes: it appears bright white on a sunny day and greyer on a rainy day. Often adults tend to think a playground needs to have an abundance of colours, but it is the children that give colour

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in the same direction, to make the project come alive. For this reason, it was possible to complete such a project from the first sketches to realisation within a six-month time frame.

to the playground. The dichroic windows colour the in- and outside of the play clouds and also give extraordinary colours to the world you see through the windows from within. Magical realism experienced by children in real life! Time Frame Typically, projects like this one, that are not off-the-shelf designs, take a long time to design, engineer and be realised. A project is as good as its client. Behind Marmara Forum is a visionary client that knew they wanted something special. It is impressive to see how all parties involved have been working constructively, moving together

Consideration Where in the past playgrounds were mostly facilitated by local municipalities, nowadays often commercial parties are the ones to take initiative in this field of semipublic and freely accessible play spaces. Parties that really dare to offer children something spectacular. The playground of Marmara Forum is a fine example of such an initiative. Technical Challenges: There were many technical challenges during the design and engineering process. For example, considering the size of the largest structure (eight-meter-tall) to be constructed and the load limits of the existing roof. This issue was creatively solved by designing a selfsupporting structure on top of a constructive point, spreading the loads at the same time. The spheres of all of the play clouds together are constructed out of hexagonal and pentagonal panels, 275 different panels in total. Local craftsmen produced, assembled and installed the double curved stainless steel panels with incredible precision. The importance of stimulating the local economy and working with local partners was at the forefront of Carve’s decision making from the beginning. Utilizing these locally embedded partners and their networks was key to a superb and timely realization. Head in the Clouds Looking up from street level, one can see the sun glitter on the play clouds. At night the clouds, with white light radiating from behind the window frames, are a beacon that can be seen from the surrounding areas of Marmara Forum, making an intriguing spectacle of lights. If it wasn’t for the current lockdown of all playgrounds in Turkey, the children of Istanbul would already have occupied this place and have their head in the clouds.

Date of design: 2019-2020 Date of completion: May 2020 Client Carve: Playdium Manufacturer: Playdium Main Client: Multi (turkey) Location: Marmara Forum Shopping Centre, Istanbul Size: 400 m2 Photography: Asli Dayioglu website: www.carve.nl Instagram: carve_nl

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I LUXURY & SIMPLICITY

Modern Elegance il Sueño house is a blend of modernity and practical simplicity By: Omran Architects Capturing the splendid views of the garden, iL Seuño House in Qatar is designed with an elegant modern style expressing the owner’s personality. The pure white color of the house blends with the natural light tones of the landscape, oozing luxury and simplicity at the same time. White delicate screens enliven bold facades and help to animate the experience between indoor and outdoor. A light horizontal platform gathers the living and dining spaces in the ground floor overlooking a large infinity pool surrounding a sunken lounge, followed by a sloped green carpet blending the different landscape levels. Three cantilevered private rooms create a dynamic massing achieving a harmonious balance between the opposing ideals of privacy and community. The self-shading massing gives the house the direction it needed both environmentally and aesthetically. The masses enclose an elevated court featuring a modern water element. The glazed internal walls afford panoramic views to the garden and pool while shaded from the scorching sun by cantilevered volumes. The staircase is an artistic highlight for the heart of the building featuring modern iconic colored sculptures. Natural daylight is introduced to the house by indoor courtyards, skylights and English courts lighting the basement. The design achieves a simple modern yet elegant home surrounded by nature. This is reflected in the masterful interplay of materials, space, and light in the villa creating a dynamic dialogue between the interior and exterior. The material palette balances between using warm and natural tones of materials providing a feel of intimacy for the users.

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OMRAN ARCHITECTS is one of the fastest growing architecture companies in the Middle East. In the vision of OMRAN’s founder Dr. Mostafa Gabr, OMRAN become an interdisciplinary and innovative-based company. It is founded to enrich the life of people through creating innovative, sustainable and environmentally friendly urban living environments. Having simplicity as the essence of our design philosophy is the reason behind creating innovative, luxurious, creative and highly efficient buildings. We create the desired and comfortable atmosphere for our building’s users, believing that as we shape our buildings, our buildings shapes us. Along with professional architects and expertise from different disciplines, we create aesthetically valuable and inspiring communities in a great harmony with culture, history, communities, through applying the most recent technologies while putting into consideration our natural environment.

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I LEARNING CENTER

A Rooftop Biodiversity Museum and Sustainability Learning Center opens in Hong Kong By: LAAB Architects Located in the heart of the urban sprawl of Hong Kong, Nature Discovery Park is a rooftop nature conservatory in a newly redeveloped retail destination, the K11 MUSEA, offers experiential learning and farm-to-table dining experiences for city dwellers. LAAB Architects was tasked with the challenge of turning an otherwise residual space in the shopping mall into a learning and experience center of nature. Architecture of Urban Nature A glasshouse and an urban farm form the center of the Nature Discovery Park. A steel structure and aluminum cladding was used to frame the glasshouse, which features large sliding glass doors that open up the interior to the outdoor farm. To save energy, IGU glass facade was used to reduce heat gain. The sliding doors are always open to draw in sunlight and to enhance natural ventilation to minimize energy consumption. The steel structure, aluminum cladding, and glass were all prefabricated and installed on-site to reduce construction waste. The roof is slightly pitched forward so that the architecture catches the prevailing wind from the harbour while visually embracing

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The First Specialised Landscape Magazine in the Middle East

the farm. The reflection of the farm on the glasshouse against the surrounding skyscrapers produces a visual reminder of the co-existence of nature and urbanism. The door handles, pendant lamps, and dining tables were crafted by LAAB using sustainable wood.

Urban Nature that Nurtures The spatial design of Nature Discovery Park promotes the co-existence between humans and nature, and the urban environment by enabling eco-tours and a series of education programmes on biodiversity and sustainability. The nature exploration journey begins with an archive that showcases rare butterfly species, leading to an aquarium that hosts the water and tropic marine species of the Victoria Harbour across the site if there were no pollution. Inside the greenhouse, a hydroponic nursery brings organically grown vegetables to the table. The farm in front of the glasshouse also offers urban farming opportunities for local residents, promoting eco-parenting through activities such as rooftop farming and nature art jam. As Hong Kong is home to a dazzling diversity of butterfly species, the nature discovery journey ends with a butterfly garden that grows plants to attract butterflies.

Official Project Name: Nature Discovery Park Location: K11 MUSEA, Hong Kong Client: New World Development Company Limited Architects/designers: LAAB Architects in collaboration with PLandscape, Speirs Majors Light Architecture Project Manager: New World Development Company Limited Collaborators: PLandscape, Speirs Majors Light Architecture Lighting Designer: Speirs Majors Light Architecture Project sector: sustainability education center/ biodiversity museum/roof garden/ conservatory/ farm/restaurant Budget: Confidential Project completion date: September 2019 Photographer: Otto Ng of LAAB Credit to: v2com

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I SUSTAINABILITY

Landscape Fluxes By: Topio7 Architects Firm The project “landscape fluxes” was awarded the 2nd Prize at the Architectural Competition for Salina Park in Larnaca, Cyprus. The scope of the competition was the creation of an organized park with a sustainable – bioclimatic design, well-connected with the surrounding urban fabric. The site belongs to the Municipality of Larnaca, and it is an abandoned green space of 14 sqm. It is located in a central area in the city, close to main roads and significant points of interest such as the Municipal Garden that includes the Municipal Gallery and Library. Although is a green space with a lot of trees especially on the south side, it is an enclosed and introverted space, characterized by isolation, a

place inaccessible to public use, especially from the main part of the city road. The proposal “landscape_fluxes” creates a pole of attraction for local and supra-local uses, in the framework of a holistic landscape eco_strategy. The main objectives are: • to create an open accessible public space, • to create a contemporary urban park with ecologicalbioclimatic character that gradually leads the visitor from the city’s buzz to an enclosed landscape of recreation, • to emphasize the social dimension, • to integrate new informative and management technologies. The central idea derives from the need to create a well-organized area of urban nature in a mutual ‘osmosis’ between the park and the city. The project envisions a field of landscape fluxes, a dynamic new landscape, a permeable green buffer zone of passages in which osmotic relations can be developed from the city towards the new park. A filter of greenery and an introductory square, leads to the main area of the park – an introverted clearing of recreation for outdoor activities. There the cafe-restaurant kiosk is located and a dynamic scenery is being created which changes during the four seasons. The proposal is based on a design strategy elaborated in three organizational axes: The accessibility and the connection with the urban net. The new net of movements and stops will act as a vehicle of understanding and appropriating space for the visitor The fluidity in relationship to vegetation.The plantation is designed as an element of structural organization using its alternations through the four seasons

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The First Specialised Landscape Magazine in the Middle East

The landscape characters and visual units that will host new uses. At the contact with the city, an entrance plaza at the highest level of the site provides a general view of the park as an urban balcony. Right afterward, the entrance to the park is realized through the terraced steps –terraced plazas of stabilized soil that may also host temporal exhibitions. A filter of greenery that incorporates the majority of the existing trees constitutes the urban forest in this zone that hosts the Mediterranean gardens, rest areas, and picnic areas. This shaded green zone leads to the main area of the park that the visitor gradually discovers.  There is a large meadow for leisure and outdoor activities, rest areas and recreational zones, the clearing-events place where the cafe-restaurant is located - a metal structure with corten steel facades. Along with this

central meadow, various thematic landscape zones and uses are proposed, such as the amphitheatre embedded to the existing slope, the water garden - a small artificial wetland, an aquatic habitat with platforms to lay by the water, the urban orchards where the citizens may participate, and playgrounds and outdoor gyms. The clearing is defined by the main serpentine path for wandering that traverses all the different landscapes and uses. This belt of movement consists of stabilized soil and offers a slower walking experience, a free movement in space that is changing constantly. The curved manoeuvres of the path reveal on the move, various perspective views, and spatial relationships. The path’s width is designed to host the walker, the jogger, the bicyclist. At various positions of the site, small informative kiosks of corten steel are located. On each side of the park, there are secondary entrances from the neighbourhoods.

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I SUSTAINABILITY

It’s a feasible project which is easy to apply that needs minimal demolitions, no need for extensive extra planting. By using ecology as a spatial and biological framework, the proposal aims to create a dynamic landscape where the process is in the epicentre. The ecological design as a medium of creative transformation will give a vivid natural environment where the new uses will activate socially the place. The proposal “landscape_fluxes” envisions a flexible, adaptive, socially dynamic, emerging site, able to host urban moments and social events.

Significant role to the design approach plays the sustainability – ecological design and the intention to create a smart park, either regarding management issues (collecting rainwater - photovoltaic panels and the use of smart digital sensors to manage lighting and irrigation) or in terms of information such as signage based on interactive screens and qr-codes as well as big data projection screens.

Firm: topio7 architects Design Team: topio7 architects (Katerina Andritsou – Panita Karamanea – Thanasis Polyzoidis) Consultants: Panagiotis Panagiotopoulos, Civil engineering consultant, Dimitra Kosti, Quantity surveyor consultant Website: www. topio7architects.gr Image credits: topio7 architects Title: landscape_fluxes - 2nd Prize Salina Park Competition: Architectural competition ¨Municipal Park Salina, Larnaca Prize: 2nd Prize Location: Larnaca, Cyprus Surface: 2410 m2 Year: 2020 Client: Municipality of Larnacak

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