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middle east

September 2017

C e l e b r a t i n g 1 0 Ye a r s 2 0 0 7 - 2 0 1 7



Landscape Design Hard Landscape Soft Landscape Sports Fields Irrigation Systems Water Features Landscape Lighting Landscape Maintenance






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Editor’s Note Getting Smart Our September issues focuses on smart solutions to everyday issues that crop up for Landscape professionals and often act as a barrier in realising projects. Citygreen has pioneered the Stratavault soil structure system in the UAE, and Al Wasl properties is the first development to showcase this innovative product, which will aid developers to green urban landscapes in a more sustainable and efficient way. (page 26)

Managing Partner: Ziad Maarouf Amine Copy Editor: John Hampton Sales Manager: Boushra Dinnawi Administrative Assistance: Sarry Gan

In Kuwait, Spanish architects AGi had to rethink the design and layout of the typical Middle Eastern home and develop a new strategy that would accommodate the country’s extreme temperates in summer, providing shade and privacy without minimising on the outdoor space that residents crave most of the year. They achieved this through clever design and built three gardens on different levels of the home. The first is known as a wet room on the ground floor, the second is a summer garden designed on the coolest layer, which is four meters below ground where the heat will evaporate upwards and the third is a winter garden located on the roof, complete with a perforated skin which will keep occupants away from the direct sunlight, (page 40).

Art Director: Ramon Andaya

Don’t miss our interview with Robert Shakespeare, group design director at Cracknell. Shakespeare outlines the importance of the public realm in cities such as Dubai for not only beautifying the landscape but equally for connecting residents with the outdoors and each other. (page 18)

Enjoy the issue!

John Hampton

Contributors: Robert Shakespeare, Jorge Larrauri, O uzhan Zeytino lu, Laith Wark, Niko Kapa, Jimena Martignoni, Almudena Grande, Annamari Comrie Printed by: Al Nisr Publishing LLC Webmaster:

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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:

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



contents September 2017 - Issue 123

16 18 20 26 30 34 40 44



Coral Stone Transformers of the public realm Footbrodge: Design Connections


Innovative soil system aids greening of urban development A spiritual creation Gas stations A Place in the sun Nelson Mandela’s legacy hospital

34 40


I news and events

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I news and events

Winners to be Selected and Announced at The Year in Infrastructure 2017 Conference, October 10-12 in Singapore

Bentley Announces Finalists 2017 Be Inspired Awards Program Recognizing BIM Advancements in Infrastructure Design, Construction, and Operations Bentley Systems, Incorporated, a leading global provider of comprehensive software solutions for advancing infrastructure, today announced the finalists in the 2017 Be Inspired Awards program. The annual awards honor the extraordinary work of Bentley users advancing infrastructure design, construction, and operations throughout the world. Ten independent jury panels comprising distinguished industry experts selected the 51 finalists from more than 400 nominations submitted by organizations in more than 50 countries. The finalists will present their innovative projects to their peers, the jurors, industry thought leaders, and more than 120 members of the media as part of related infrastructure forums at The Year in Infrastructure 2017 Conference, October 10-12 in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. This gathering of leading professionals in the world of infrastructure design, construction, and operations will feature: thought-provoking keynotes by Bentley senior executives and prominent industry thought leaders live technology presentations from Bentley’s alliance partners – Microsoft, Siemens, Bureau Veritas, and Topcon opportunities for attendees to meet and have one-on-one discussions with awards finalists informative industry forums and panel discussions featuring speakers from Microsoft, Siemens, Bureau Veritas, Australia Road Research Board, Applied Research & Associates, Building and Construction Authority of Singapore, and more Be Inspired Awards finalists’ presentations


on October 10 and 11 evening ceremony and gala featuring announcement of the Be Inspired Awards winners on October 12. The Year in Infrastructure 2017 Conference is an ideal opportunity for management-level executives in engineering firms, architecture firms, construction companies, and government or owner-operator organizations responsible for the design, delivery, and/or operations of infrastructure to share best practices and meet infrastructure professionals from around the world. All those who submitted a nomination in the Be Inspired Awards program are also invited to attend. Bentley Systems Chief Communications Officer Chris Barron said, “The Year in Infrastructure Conference is a one-of-a-kind networking and learning experience for infrastructure leaders from around the world. This year we have an unprecedented number of participants for the Be Inspired program, and are pleased to congratulate and acknowledge all of the participants for their excellent work and inspiring projects. Conference attendees will have the chance to meet the awards finalists, and see them present their projects, which represent this year’s most outstanding BIM advancements in global infrastructure.” This year’s conference will be held for the first time in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, one of the most iconic buildings in Asia. The structural design of Marina Bay Sands was done by Arup and was Bentley’s 2010 Be Inspired Award winner for Innovation in Structural Engineering. Mike Lee, vice president of sales, Marina Bay Sands, said, “Marina Bay Sands is honored to be the chosen venue for Bentley Systems’ firstto-Singapore conference. Our relationship with Bentley dates back to our construction days, as our iconic building was structurally engineered using Bentley Systems software. We look forward to welcoming Bentley and its delegates to our integrated resort to experience its multitude of business, leisure, and dining offerings under one roof.”


I news and events

Instarmac achieves prestigious RoSPA Gold Medal Award Instarmac Group plc are delighted to have been awarded the coveted Gold Medal, an honour only given to those who achieve 5 consecutive Gold Awards in the annual RoSPA Health and Safety Awards. In its 61st year, these respected awards are open to businesses and organisations of all sizes, across a wide spectrum of industries and celebrate those who are committed to raising health and safety management standards. The judging panel of 24 leading industry experts, measure the performance of each organisation on areas such as identification, assessment, prevention and control of health risks, wellness at work, communication of information, and active monitoring and reviewing of health performance. They also consider any specific activities which distinguish an organisations approach to health and work. RoSPA’s Chairman, Michael D Parker CBE presented Instarmac’s Quality and Operations Manager, Darren Gough, with the respected award during a ceremony held at the Hilton

Birmingham Metropole Hotel. “The health and safety of all those who work, visit and deliver to our premises in Tamworth has always been of the highest importance. The QHSE team at Instarmac have worked intensively to achieve this prestigious accolade and we are thrilled to receive this award for the 5th year in succession, as it continues to signify our commitment towards health and safety.” Darren Gough This achievement is the latest in a long line of awards of Instarmac. In 2017 they were placed in The Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies for the eighth year, were ranked number one in the Mid Market 300, were named as a Low-Risk Operator by the DVSA, received a FORS Silver Award and completed the transition to the new ISO accreditations, one of the first companies to do so.

Is your grout letting you down? Tired of hand pointing large areas of paving? Fed up of applying tape to joints and then having to remove it later? UltraScape is offering a quick and durable alternative method to pointing paving. Part of UltraScape’s independently tested and approved Mortar Paving System, Flowpoint rapid set flowable grout offers many benefits to architects, municipalities and contractors alike. Before the arrival of Flowpoint into the UAE market contractors would have to tape all paving joints to prevent the grout from staining the paving – an extremely time consuming task, particularly on larger projects. Contractors would then hand apply grout to the joint – another time consuming task. This method poses a significant problem as hand pointing results in joints not being filled evenly causing the grout to crack, and in some cases, come out of the joint altogether. Flowpoint has been developed and perfected over 20 years to provide a durable finish which does not require tape, does not stain and thanks to its flowable nature it fills the joints from the bottom up ensuring all gaps are filled, resulting in perfect paving every time. The flowable properties of Flowpoint also allow for large areas of paving to be grouted quickly and easily. It can be used to grout


joints from 3mm to 50mm and as deep as 200mm in one application which is ideal for projects where a number of different sized stones are going to be used. What’s more, once set, paving grouted with Flowpoint can be walked on in just 1 hour causing minimal disruption to pedestrians and allows contractors to move on to another area quickly. Available to the world market for over 20 years, Flowpoint is certainly revolutionising traditional pointing methods. Flowpoint has been used on a number of high profile projects throughout Dubai. It has been used to grout 9,000sqm of paving at the iconic Dubai Opera, 40,000sqm of paving at City Walk and a further 9,000sqm of paving at MBR City.

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I Site report


Before Before

After After


East Side Elementary PROPERTY: Harrison High School East Side Elementary Harrison HighTECHNICIAN: School IRRIGATION Steve Mclendon


Kathy Nguyen

COBB COUNTY WATER SYSTEM: KathyBIRD Nguyen RAIN PRODUCTS: • RD1800™ PRS Sprays with Flow-Shield™ Technology RAIN BIRD • HE-VAN SeriesPRODUCTS: Spray Nozzles • RD1800™ PRS Sprays with Flow-Shield™ Technology • 5000 Plus PRS Series Rotors • HE-VAN6504 Series Spray Nozzles • Falcon® Rotors • 5000 Plus PRS Series Rotors • Falcon® 6504 Rotors

“With Atlanta’s high water pressure, averaging 109 psi, using Rain Bird pressure-regulating sprays and rotors seemed like highproving water pressure, averaging psi, using a“With good Atlanta’s place to start out a concept and 109 program Rainwould Bird pressure-regulating sprays andtheir rotors seemed like that help the Water System further leadership a good of place to start proving a concept and”program position finding ways to use out water sustainably. that would help the Water System further their — leadership Kathy Nguyen, position of finding ways to use waterCobb sustainably. ” System Senior Project Manager, County Water


— Kathy Nguyen, Senior Project Manager, Cobb County Water System

The Intelligent Use of Water™

The Intelligent Use of Water™


Two schools in the Cobb County School District in Atlanta, PROJECT OVERVIEW: Georgia, were retrofitted with RD1800™ PRS Sprays with Two schools Technology in the Cobb with County School District5000 in Atlanta, Flow-Shield™ HE-VAN Nozzles, Plus Georgia, were retrofitted with RD1800™ PRS Sprays with PRS Rotors, and the Falcon® 6504 Rotor as proof of concept Flow-Shield™ Technology withsaving HE-VAN Nozzles, 5000 Plus for a larger district-wide water initiative. Working in PRS Rotors, and the Falcon® 6504 Rotor as proof concept conjunction with the Cobb County School Districtofand the for a County larger district-wide water saving initiative. Working in Cobb Water System, Rain Bird presented the retrofit conjunction with the Cobb County School District and the opportunity as cost-effective solution to reduce their water Cobb Water System, Rain Bird presented the retrofit use andCounty operating costs. opportunity as cost-effective solution to reduce their water use and operating costs. CHALLENGE: In recent years, drought conditions in Atlanta forced the CHALLENGE: community and Water System to find ways to reduce water In recent years, drought Atlantaconditions forced the and use. “Potential affects fromconditions sustainedin drought community and Water System to find ways to water pressure from surrounding states has put waterreduce conservation use. “Potential affects from sustained drought conditions and and sustainable practices in the spotlight,” said Kathy Nguyen, pressure from surrounding states has put water conservation senior project manager for the Water System. For the School and sustainable practices theisspotlight, saidfinding Kathy Nguyen, District, one of their largestin bills for water”and cost senior project manager for theuse Water System. Fordistrict the School effective ways to reduce water could save the District,asone largest billsCounty’s is for water and findingefforts. cost money, wellofastheir support Cobb sustainability effective ways to reduce water use could save the district money, as well as support Cobb County’s sustainability efforts.


ideal place to install sprays and rotors that regulate water Atlanta’sathigh pressure, 100 indoor psi, makes it an pressure the water individual head.over As with pressureideal place to install sprays and rotors that regulate regulated devices, like shower heads, these productswater save pressure at the individual head.thereby As withreducing indoor pressurewater by reducing the pressure the regulated devices, heads, products flow of water. A Rainlike Birdshower spray or rotorthese that uses Flow save water by reducing the pressure thereby reducing the Optimizer™ Technology to regulate pressure can save flow of water. A Rain Bird spray or rotor that uses Flow approximately one gallon of water a minute compared to Technology to regulate pressure can save aOptimizer™ non-pressure-regulated device. At East Side Elementary approximately one gallon of water a minute compared School a mix of RD1800PRS Sprays and 5000 Plus PRS to a non-pressure-regulated At East Side Series Rotors were installeddevice. to reduce water useElementary and save School a mix of RD1800PRS Sprays and 5000 Plus PRS money on the water bill. Series Rotors were installed to reduce water use and save Regulating pressure to optimal levels also improves the money on the water bill. performance of the spray or rotor by eliminating misting Regulating to optimal levels alsois improves the and fogging.pressure When misting occurs water more likely to be performance of the spray or rotor by eliminating misting carried away by wind, as well as evaporate more quickly. The and fogging. occurs wateratisthe more to be visible misting When seen inmisting the “before” photo toplikely of the carried away by wind, as well as evaporate more quickly. page is eliminated after the RD1800PRS Spray with the HE-The visible misting seen in the “before” photo at “after” the topphoto. of the VAN nozzle has been installed, as seen in the page is eliminated after the RD1800PRS Spray with the HEVAN nozzle has been installed, as seen in the “after” photo.


In independent testing at the Center for Irrigation Technology the HE-VAN nozzle scored high uniformity ratings*. The RD1800PRS Spray combined with the HE-VAN nozzle was used at East Side to provide efficient watering in less time, further reducing water use.


Spray without Flow-Shield Technology (nozzle removed)

At Harrison High School athletic fields, water usage was reduced by installing the Falcon 6504 Rotor with efficient Rain Curtain Nozzle Technology. The Falcon was chosen because its throw matched the current irrigation design and it can efficiently operate at higher water pressure. Rain Curtain Technology which is featured on all Rain Bird rotors provides uniform coverage which uses less water to fully and evenly wet an area. One of the key benefits of this technology is visible in the “after” photo - larger water droplets replace the misting seen in the “before” photo.

Spray with Flow-Shield Technology and service indication stream (nozzle removed)

For the school district’s irrigation technician, Steve Mclendon, the RD1800PRS Spray provides another advantage. The service indication stream shoots a visible stream of water into the air when a nozzle is removed and Flow-Shield Technology reduces water loss by 90%. “With the indicator, it’s pretty easy for people at the schools to spot the problem and report it back to me,” said Steve. “I take care of over 80 schools so I don’t get out to each individual school on a frequent basis. This feature helps save water until I get it fixed,” said Mclendon.


HIGH EFFICIENCY SPRAY NOZZLE SHORTENS RUN TIMES A high-efficiency spray nozzle, such as the HE-VAN, is one that provides a uniform wetting pattern. Better uniformity allows users to reduce run times because less time is needed to fully and evenly wet an area.


After installation of Falcon 6504 Rotor



At East Side Elementary School over 300 RD1800PRS Sprays and 5000 Plus PRS Rotors replaced non-pressureregulating devices. By the end of 2014, the school is estimated to save 1.4 million gallons of water, reducing the school’s water use by 44%. At Harrion High School, 37 Falcon 6504 Rotors were installed. Annual water savings is estimated at over 600,000 gallons, helping to reduce the school’s water use by 18%.






* CIT data on file at Rain Bird.

11 The Intelligent Use of Water™



East Side



I management

Project Management Skills

Driving success or failure in the Landscaping Industry

By Michael Mascarenhas CEO Desert Group

Landscaping conjures up images of great meeting and walking spaces where design and natural elements converge. Yet for landscaping companies it all boils down to Project Management Skills and how to weave that capability with a sustainable bottom line performance. This is exactly where things could either go right or wrong. The skill market in the UAE is based on an available pool where those associated with project management tend to move from one organisation to another based on need. Many of the personnel in this pool have many years of experience with strangely enough only a few being Certified as Project Managers. Employer’s are increasingly looking for certified project managers because they think the presence of a certified project manager on a project will increase the odds of project success.


Many of the landscaping organizations in this region know that one of the key differentiating factors between a successful or profitable project versus an unsuccessful or non-profitable is the Project Manager on the job. Yet for far too long the landscaping construction business has suffered due to a lack of fundamental construction skills that mixes both experience and academics. So, whilst experience is a great asset, it is noticed that the fundamentals of Project Management per se is at most times missing on those unsuccessful projects. Resources need to be planned, organized, directed and controlled and to have this capability, not only experience but a deep understanding of the principles that drive projects is necessary. The lack of that could result in failure thus damaging organizations and the individual themselves. Organizations have begun to realize and hence demand that professionals in the landscape construction and build sector need a certification that goes with their experience. They rather do a job with capabilities that ensures success than undertake a project hoping for success; as that impacts customer satisfaction. There is also another aspect and that is the longevity of the organization itself. For one to build a successful business that exemplifies sustainability it is important that the necessary skills are such that puts them ahead. Thus, for those in the Landscape construction sector wanting success and professional satisfaction it is critical that you consider a higher form of learning in Project Management and at most times consider a Certification associated with Project Management. The industry is tightening and whilst experience is important there will be a shift towards education and experience - both. On the other hand, organizations, must encourage those employees who have the potential, to further their educational qualification in project management by subsidizing such certifications. That will ensure the long-term success of the organization and will be a great service to the person benefiting from such an initiative.

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I urban panning

Build up not out:

The future of

urban planning Firas Hnoosh, principal and design director of architecture of the Dubai Studio of Perkins+Will, argues the need to build up, not out, for future generations: years later it was close to 2.4 million. It’s been reported that the emirate could be home to 3.4 million people by 2020, in line with Dubai’s 2020 vision.

Firas Hnoosh Principal and Design Director of Architecture, Perkins+Will

With a global population of 7.5 billion, set to increase by 25% in the next 30 years, as architects we are increasingly responsible for designing spaces which work harder and cater to more people. Dubai is a superb example of a fast growing city that still has the skills and time to address its own immediate growing population needs. The pace of growth and expansion in Dubai is unrivalled anywhere in the world. It is currently the fourth most visited city on earth, ahead of Singapore and New York. In 2011, it was up to 9.3 million visitors per year. In 2015 we saw 14.3 million per year. That is around double the United Nations World Travel Organisation’s (UNWTO) projected three- to four per cent global travel growth over the same period. In 1975, the first signs of the rapid expansion of the city had begun in earnest, but with a population still under 200,000. By 2005, it had reached almost 1.5 million. Ten


Most of us will have seen, at some stage, satellite images of Dubai, perhaps comparing the current city with a photograph taken 20-or-so years ago. The differences are often staggering and provide the most powerful impression of rapid urban expansion. What that really means is with the information we have, we are now able to responsibly design our living and working landscape to better accommodate this growth. Can you imagine there ever being a time when the two cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, for instance, will have extended so far into their respective geographical borders that they would actually meet? That isn’t as far-fetched as it might at first seem. In light of the current rate of expansion, it’s time to tackle the problem of population growth and its impact on all our lives and those of the next generation. Population growth, urban sprawl and pollution are all inextricably linked – think of it as ‘cause and effect’. Globally and locally we are seeing the emergence of some interesting migration patterns with people relocating to larger cities. This has an impact on agriculture, air quality, the natural landscape, journey times and our general quality of life and, as cities continue to expand to accommodate these people, it’s entirely possible that within the next 100 years the whole world really will be one continuous city. While this trend is almost inevitable, today we are still able to slow down the sprawl of architectural dominance and conserve the natural landmass effectively. The key here is to build up, not out – to have existing infrastructure work harder and for more hours for more of us.

The US is a good case study for where we can expect the UAE to catch up to, where a northeast ‘corridor’ is forming with from Washington DC going through Baltimore, Philadephia and New York all the way up to Boston joining together– you can see this happening when you look at night satellite imagery. People are frequently moving between such cities and their geographic footprint is becoming larger all the time – it’s happening all over the world. Urban sprawl, then, is becoming a quite literally expanding problem. As our cities expand outwards, they encroach on agricultural land and areas of natural beauty – expansive dunes become concrete jungle. So what’s the solution? If we look at Dubai it is unlike some other major cities (such as Mumbai or London), inasmuch as it doesn’t face the problem of dilapidated buildings that need to be torn down and replaced – much of this city is new. Other cities are more full and don’t actively pursue new inhabitants. Here, though, the emirate is proactive in attracting both new residents and tourists – there’s a lot of available land and a growing transport infrastructure that improves all the time, take the Hyperloop as an example. Eventually, however, that urban sprawl mentioned earlier could become a real problem. Think back to a time, not long ago, when the central hub of Dubai was Deira. The E11 highway enabled rapid outward expansion but it also brought with it numerous problems and the city is now, in some respects, bisected and divided; inland vs coastline and multi-nodal with nodes mainly connected by the E11. It’s time to look at our home holistically. Vertical expansion of cities does more than provide an impressive skyline – it’s the most efficient use of land mass there is and allows greater scope for provision of meaningful recreational space, which in turn is a huge positive for quality of life. It encourages us to spend more time outdoors in those weather perfect months this country has to offer. We should look at restrictions on the amount of land made available to developers, with more thought put into reducing our physical footprint. And equally importantly, let us not forget to provide public open space, Dubai - like the great cities of the world - needs its Central Park, its Bois de Boulogne or its Hyde Park. While at face value it seems like a commercially unviable venture, such a space – or indeed spaces – will provide amazing real estate value to developments densified around it.


Dubai’s Metro and Tram networks are excellent examples of how public transport is becoming more efficient, with startling projects such as Hyperloop promising to overturn the way we travel across, and between, the cities we live in. Such methods of moving from placeto-place help develop links between communities and allow residents greater choice when it comes to deciding on where to live. These existing communities and their infrastructures can be used more effectively by building upward in the areas with access to existing amenities. In other words, upgrading existing infrastructure and densifying around it is far more feasible, efficient and environmentally conscious than building new infrastructure and sprawling horizontally. Allowing more of us to use what’s already there is something that is perfectly possible. For example, the metro has its busy commuting periods. Allowing more of us to live in walking distance to metro stations and increasing the number of trains will allow for a more concentrated set of communities without needing to build new transport links to new developments. In addition, existing communities in Dubai are already self-sufficient, with malls, corner shops, highway access, schools and transport links, some even have small outdoor public recreation spots, like the Meadows and Springs. Each of these amenities are distinctly able to cater to a larger number of service users. If we take existing communities between the two most notable ones, DIFC and Marina, we can see examples like Al Quoz that could be built upward to achieve the aforementioned goal of more people using existing infrastructure. We talk about sustainability in terms of energy conservation and increasing the green environment without understanding its full meaning. There are so many more elements to sustainability. Its true meaning is “the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level”, and this is what we are talking about here. Sustainable living really is achievable – we just need to alter our worldview and think smarter. Besides curbing cities’ expansion and solving population problems, high-rise buildings can and will act as energy generators. Photovoltaicintegrated glazing, wind turbines strategically positioned on tall buildings and geothermal technology amongst other things, makes them the cornerstone of building a zero energy sustainable future independent of fossil fuels. High-rise buildings are not new – they’ve been around for a hundred years – but in the long term they could just save the planet all of us call home.

I outdoor landscaping

Coral Stone

Innovative, enduring beauty for all of your landscape designs.

When you begin a construction project, especially in a desert climate, choosing materials that are as enduring and practical as they are beautiful will ensure results that meet or exceed expectations. Coral Stone USA has long been a leader in innovative outdoor stone paving as well as decorative architectural stone products. These products are certified for use by architects, interior designers, and other landscape professionals. “Our coral stone products are ideal for constructing bases, trims, columns, corbels and other types of architectural stone preferences,” says Jorge Larrauri, president of Coral Stone USA. “Our broad knowledge and vast experience in the architectural stone industry is what makes our craftsmanship extraordinary.” Explore what makes coral stone unique. Coral Stone, also known as coralina, it is a type of limestone obtained from tropical quarries. Coralina contains coral, shell fossils and sand, all of which gives it its unique qualities of strength,


durability and elegance. “Customers love coralina because of its neutral color and rich texture that makes it a very versatile material for interior and exterior landscape designs. Clients come to us for columns, balustrades, handrails, moldings, corbels, fountains and any other piece of craftsmanship that can be fabricated with our beautiful natural stone.” Discover an exceptional choice for pool and patio. Outdoor living is abundant in the desert and when designing a swimming pool deck, functionality is one of the most important considerations. Being that the basic climate in the Middle East is hot and dry, non-slip surface with minimal heat retention coral stone is ideal for homes and outdoor patios. One of the key advantages of coral stone is that it has a safe, non-slip surface, reducing the chance of falls leading to injury. A second reason pool owner’s love

coral stone is that it offers an unusually low heat-absorbency. That means this beautiful, durable stone has the ability to withstand all types of weather extremes, salt water and the sort of wear and tear that a typical pool is subject to. Using coral stone pool pavers when building a pool construction project will ensure years of enjoyment and a deck that stays cool underfoot. Coral stone is also a great choice for beautiful and functional patio decks where you want to enjoy the sun but do not want a surface that heats up during the scorching summer months. Coral stone’s natural heat-reflecting properties ensure that any paved surface stays comfortably cool even in the hottest climate. Landscape architects and do-it-yourself homeowners appreciate the fact that installation is easy, requiring little modification once the stone is cut to size. Beautifully neutral and environmentally friendly. Functionality is one thing, but your pool, patio deck or other home improvement project also needs to complement your existing exterior and interior space. Coral stone has a color that is neutral and naturally muted; these natural tones complement any surrounding

without taking center stage so your other design elements can shine. Whether your color preference is red, gold or white, this material blends in beautifully and perfectly accentuates everything from crystal pool water and fire pits to soft scape greenery and interior dÊcor. The name coral stone may be unfamiliar to some, and may make you think of the material found in coral reefs. In fact, coral stone is dierent from coral. Coral mining is the process of actively removing live coral directly from the sea. The process is very destructive to the sea and is sometimes carried out by dangerous machines. Coral stone, on the other hand, is formed from fossils of sea organisms such as calcareous algae, corals from which it gets its name and other organisms with a calcium carbonate base. The substance is formed from fossils that were in the sea thousands or even millions of years ago. Quarries where the coral stone is mined are outside the sea and do not present any risk to coral reefs. Bring the beauty of coral stone home. Coral stone’s beauty and durability make it a very versatile building material that can add a unique elegance and quality finish to a variety of contemporary exterior and interior settings. This amazing stone is currently featured in high-end residences in Florida, California, Nevada and Arizona. It is also featured luxury hotels in the Caribbean, as well as other international locations. Coral Stone USA is a quarry owner and distributor based in Miami, Florida. Learn more at Address: 153 West 21th Street Hialeah Florida 33010-2622 USA P: (305) 468-8505 F: (305) 468-8504 Mon-Fri : 9:30 am - 5:30 pm We ship Factory Direct to North & South America, Caribbean, Europe, Middle East and Africa.


I Expert Talks

Transformers of the public realm Burj Lake Promenade (Cracknell images)

Robert Shakespeare Group Design Director at Cracknell

The public realm gives a city its identity. Roadways, sidewalks, and parks are the lungs and arteries of modern urban cities. More than just access, they give communities a sense of place, and can very well define their social and financial success. Today’s landscape architects are keenly aware of the need to transform the public realm’s functionality, from connected livability to socio-economic viability. “We not only look at how the public realm impacts cities by improving livability and connectivity but also at adding economic value to properties and profitability to businesses,” said Robert Shakespeare, Group Design Director, Cracknell. Shakespeare has over 25 years’ experience in the Middle East and Asia in the design and management of large scale landscape, urban design and master planning projects for hospitality, public realm, commercial, retail, residential and infrastructure development. At the September 25-27 Big 5


Outdoor Design and Build show, the World Trade Center, he will host a workshop entitled: “Does the public realm define a city? Do landscape architects and urban designers hold the key?” “We will show international examples of cities with great public realm, look at Dubai projects we designed and address the ways public realm here is changing the city not just aesthetically but by adding value to neighborhoods and creating thriving business opportunities around them.”    A landscape architects’ job is to improve the existing public realm and develop ideas to turn a street into something special, such as capturing pedestrian spaces and tying them into another community, identifying strategies that add esthetic and functional factors that make usable public realm truly engaging. “If we left it to the engineers we would end up with a very different world. When an engineer designs a road, he is looking at how much traffic he can get through it and how to manage the infrastructure. Landscape architects look at it as both a pedestrian and vehicular environment and seek to connect people with open spaces, adding value to people and property,” Shakespeare said. Residents of cities like New York, Barcelona or Chicago use the public environment in different ways than Dubai as they’re more accustomed to having and using these public spaces as the fabric of their living environment. “For example, Barcelona has a lively boulevard called Las Ramblas that cuts through the heart of the city center and is a combination of public street and pedestrian environment where the whole city meets, creating a vibrant business for street shops and vendors,” he said. “That has an impact on how people see and use their city, creating an economic function as well as a great social function”

The Beach at JBR (Cracknell images)

Real estate agents will tell you that properties located close to certain facilities like a train station or park, but also good public realm and streetscapes will add a premium to properties. For example, the Boulevard in the Burj Khalifa District, a vehicular environment that’s also accessible to pedestrian traffic, raises the value of properties along it. Shakespeare said public realm functionality is the key. He gave the example of Jumeirah Lake Towers in Dubai Marina, which was developed as part of a trend in Dubai to focus properties around water, in this case a lake. “What people have found is that it didn’t really add a functional value to living there, because although you have a lake it is inaccessible to the residents, costs a lot of money to maintain and was potentially dangerous to young kids,” explained Shakespeare. “We have recently redesigned one of the areas at JLT, filling in the lake to create a park. As a result, property prices for nearby apartments have gone up by 30%, because now there are kids’ play areas, recreational spaces, a market, and outdoor cinemas. All of these elements are the essence of a great community and bring social and economic benefits.” Another example Cracknell have worked on recently is The Palm Jumeirah Island where for a long time the land beneath the monorail link was left undeveloped and derelict. “It was a barren underused space with huge potential so we put along the length of it a sustainable, low management, linear park with bike paths, jogging routes, gathering space and kids play areas, and people became more interested in buying property there because they have additional social facilities to supplement the beach access,” said Shakespeare. The Walk, or The Beach at JBR, is another public realm example Cracknell designed, working closely with the project’s master planners and architects to ensure that the public realm potential of the scheme was maximized.


“What’s interesting there is the push towards outdoor retail as a new twist to make it viable, and the idea is to once again encourage mixing indoor and outdoor functions and combine recreation and entertainment with retail in an environment fully linked to the street,” described Shakespeare.   The project’s main drawback is traffic.   “When JBR and the Dubai Marina were developed, the number of residents and cars really over-stressed the existing transportation infrastructure. So, when designing The Beach at JBR, the project team were careful to ensure that the new design did not further impact the existing poor traffic situation, providing underground parking and modifying the traffic flow to address how people came in and out without further adding to the traffic problem there.” The public realm is a gathering place for strangers who discover, each in their own particular way, anonymously, the designs, wonders and hidden gems of creative landscape architects. “Public Realm discovery leads to shared experiences, paving great potential for personal growth and giving birth to profitable business opportunities. These are the win-win scenarios professionals in our field aim for.”    The international trade fair for Urban, Green and Open Spaces, The Big 5 Outdoor Design & Build Show, opens on 25-27 September 2017 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Organised by dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa, The Big 5 Outdoor Design & Build Show is the only trade fair that showcases the entire spectrum of services for the designing, constructing and maintaining of green and urban spaces. Co-located with FM EXPO, Windows, Doors & Facades Event and Gulf Glass, the show will also feature 3 days of free to attend CPD certified workshops. 

For all the visuals, drawings and detailed information on BostanlÄą Footbridge and BostanlÄą Sunset Lounge, please visit

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Design Connections Bostanlı Footbridge and Bostanlı Sunset Lounge has become a hip hangout for locals to watch the sunset and spend quality time together By: steb Bostanlı Footbridge & Bostanlı Sunset Lounge Bostanlı Footbridge and Bostanlı Sunset Lounge have been designed by Studio Evren Başbuğ Architects as part of the ‘Karşıkıyı’ concept created for ‘İzmirSea’ coastal regeneration project. These two architectural interventions that are positioned in close proximity and in reference to each other, have generated a new, integrated coastal attraction together, where Bostanlı Creek flows into the bay, on a very special and unique spot due to the geometric form of the coastline, and the urban memory possessed. The site has become one of the favorite public attraction points in Karşıyaka, İzmir and has been embraced and visited by the residents from all around the city since the opening in July 2016.


I footbridge goes beyond being an infra-structural urban element which is solely used for passing through, and defines a public leisure and attraction point in a sensitive relation with its environment. ‘Bostanlı Sunset Lounge’, which lays on one of the few coastal fragments facing directly west in Karşıyaka, is a set of cascading thermo-wood covered platforms which form an inviting urban

In alignment with the masterplan decisions of ‘Karşıkıyı’ concept, ‘Bostanlı Footbridge’, was proposed to connect two sides of Bostanlı Creek and thus to complete one of the missing pieces of the continuous coastal promenade. With its slightly bow shaped longitudinal-section and specially designed girder geometry, the bridge allows the passage of small boats underneath and provides access to the floating pontoon located in the creek. This new urban structure, oriented according to its unique position which provides a view of the bay on one side and the city on the other, has therefore been designed with an asymmetrical cross-section. This special section is formed by several cascading thermowood surfaces installed on a steel frame, allowing users to enjoy the view of the bay either sitting or sprawling. Thus, the bridge


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surface, streching between the artificial slope covered with trees and the embankment itself. The simplicity and fluence in the surface geometry, encourage the user to experience a more direct relationship with the setting sun and the sea. Just as in the case of the footbridge, this wide ash wood covered surface also has a welcoming sensation which is mostly an influence of the natural texture of the material. ‘Sunset Lounge’ helps users to re-discover a long forgotten İzmir ritual which is still present in the urban memory, and invites city residents to watch the sunset and spend quality time together every evening. These two urban installations, facing each other on the same spot, sustain the general framework defined in the ‘Karşıkıyı’


proposal, the master plan for Karşıyaka coastline. Natural, independent, ingenuous and inclusive; both of the designs serve as genuine ‘counter-spaces’ in Lefebvre’s terms. The footbridge and sunset lounge, both promise a new urban space to experience different forms of ‘idleness’, by employing the social, geographical and historical backgrounds of this unique location. These new coastal interventions also fit perfectly with the ‘Easy Way of Living’ vision established for the city of İzmir, by ‘İzmirSea’ coastal regeneration project. For informaton on ‘İzmirSea' (İzmirDeniz) coastal regeneration project, visit www.


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Innovative soil system aids greening of urban development Al Wasl Properties lead the way with first Stratavault installation in the UAE By: CityGreen


Leading developer, Al Wasl Properties, has set a new standard in innovation by being the first developer to implement Citygreen’s Stratavault™ solution in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A public space within a medium-rise but high density development, the project in Muhaisnah – a region of Dubai close to Sharjah – is yet to be completed but has already caused a stir in the design and construction communities. Laith Wark, Founding Partner at Verdaus Landscape Architects, says, “This is a complex of 3000 apartments, offering affordable housing. The client wanted to provide a quality park for future residents, with large trees needed to provide shade and privacy between the apartment blocks. Shade will increase the duration that outdoor spaces will be useable, which is especially important for the children who will live in these apartments and would otherwise have little access to quality outdoor space.” Planting large trees was therefore very important, but there was restricted space so trees needed to be planted in the pavement. The challenge was finding a solution that would provide the required soil volume and prevent trees from damaging surrounding infrastructure. The developer was keen to embrace an innovative solution, so Stratavault was selected due to a combination of good performance and because it was less expensive than Stratacell.


Assembling the Stratavault™ matrix “Nine matrices of 3.6 x 3.6 x 1.22m (LWD) will house one tree each, two matrices of 19.35 x 3.6 x 1.22m will house four trees each, and one matrix of 8.1 x 3.6 x 1.22m will house two trees. Tree species include: Azadirachta indica, Zizihus spina-christi, Ceiba speciose, and Cassia roburghii. This is the first Stratavault installation in the UAE, so there’s a lot of excitement around the people involved in design and construction, and pride in being part of creating something that’s truly innovative with long-term value. The construction crews, consultants, and client had never seen this kind of technology being used previously.

I urban development Assembling the Stratavault™ matrix This will create a clear point of difference between this development and other affordable housing developments. In this market, rental rates are fixed by a central authority, so clear points of difference – such as large healthy trees – will give this development a competitive advantage over others.” James Palmer, Sales Manager Landscape at W T Burden agrees, saying, “This is the first installation of Stratavault in Dubai and shows a growing appreciation for trees and the space they require for growth. Previous projects in the region have given little consideration for trees and the space they require, so hopefully this is the beginning of a change in attitude towards trees and their role and potential in the landscaping of projects. “Overall, working with Citygreen was simple and easy, and there is a clear application for their products. They have global project references, with proven results, and great knowledge and technical support. They also assisted with site visits and provided installation supervision during the initial construction phase.” With this first project drawing to a successful close and praised for leading the way in innovative urban tree design, we hope to see many more similar projects in the UAE. Stay tuned.

The design and construction team on site


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A spiritual creation Abu Dhabi’s newest mosque addresses the beauty of simplicity By: Niko Kapa

Islamic art and architecture is largely characterized by intricate geometries in patterns, ornaments and structures. This was a starting point for evolving the underlying rules of Islamic geometries and readapting them, seeking novel structural and spatial opportunities in the design of the “Mosque of the Water”. The Mosque The building is distinguished by its massing which develops with a sculptural intention that addresses the beauty of simplicity. The conceptual starting point is the movement of the water drop, which is reminiscent of the miracle of creation of living things from water as described in the Holy Quran. The water drop is stylized to a conical formation stretched to meet the ground and link it with the sky. Repetition of the main unit develops a modular system that emphasizes the geometry and tension of the floating volume. These inverted cones form the physical foundations that support the Prayer Hall as well as the vaulted roof structure. The shape of the building is a generous platform that barely touches the ground, narrowing at the top and disappearing in the air. A totally unified floor plan aligns with the urban grid and extends to the sea. This volume is sliced by an inclined plane in order to face Mecca and the ocean. The slicing produces a cut in the volume that shapes a giant wave in the elevation of the building, referring to the motion of the sea. Continuous openings and the high deck allow the visitors to look out over the landscape from a public terrace that offers panoramic views of Abu Dhabi. The large lattice openings


connect further the interior and the exterior, while looking over the landscape reminding of the city’s roots and identity. Relation with the Urban Landscape With the belief that the Mosque should play an essential role in the regeneration of the area of Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, the design serves not only the function of a religious building, but consists also an open place of gathering and interaction. Urban and environmental challenges are combined sensitively with cultural aspects and integrate with the established geometrical principals that generate the form of the building. Conceived as a new building typology, the Mosque aspires to have a strong civic presence, in an effort to synthesize spatial quality, functionality and the relationship of the building with its context, culture and the urban environment. With a sensitive implementation on the site, the building becomes a continuation of the sea through a lifted platform serving as a Prayer Hall that expands towards infinite. Fluid formations refer to the motion of the sea in an effort to connect the building to the surroundings. External Landscape Ground floor is presented as a bridge between the city and the sea while the deck extends and sinks in the water. Open shaded areas create a clear threshold between circulation and prayer space. On the street level the inviting layout forms an assembly space for urban life. All the building’s spaces are accessible by people

with disabilities, since the base formations facilitate the vertical circulation network of moving walks and lifts that transfer people to the prayer room above, which appears to be floating on air. Open at all times, the deck not only defines the entrance points but acts as a focal point of public life that will significantly enliven the street culture around the building. The white pillars rise up from the ground, emphasizing the overarching movements of the shape and creating a covered public space that frames views to the ocean. Concentric ripples of variable density revolve around the points where the building touches the ground, as if the floor was a fluid surface of water. The intersections of ripples create an arabesque geometric pattern with variable density that signalizes the entrances. These formations enliven the ground floor landscaped area, as the lighting pattern reacts to the movement of people, increasing the intensity of light in accordance with the density of the public circulation. Embeded side glow fiber optics under the marble floor patterns act as strong signalization elements when illuminating at night. They enliven the ground floor landscaped area, as the pattern reacts to the movement of people, increasing the intensity of light in accordance with the density of the public circulation. The light patterns are extended towards the sea, sinking and illuminating as they fades under the water. The lighting pattern is extended to sea where it illuminates sinking under the water, while it is reflected on the polished curved surfaces of the volume above. Under the reflection of ceiling, the linear patterns seem to have a conversation beyond time.


Internal Landscape The building as artificial Landscape The Mosque stands out reflecting the nature of its function and physically manifests the philosophy of the Middle Eastern architecture in a contemporary manner. The dynamic sweep of the interior surfaces rises to create the ceiling vaults, a modern version of “qubba” - the symbolic representation of the vault of heaven. At the top, the curvature of the typical dome is inverted forming latticed skylights that create the dramatic top-lit space. The unified surfaces appropriate in order to achieve the openness envisioned for the prayer area are illuminated from above by these generous circular openings. In addition, the massive chimney structures improve the natural ventilation of the interior through stack effect. Linear façades communicate with the city through big windows, while the western façade connects with the water through undulating, waving forms. The volume appears as it is emerging from the sea and the movement of the elevation intensifies towards the city, in the same way the waves rise near the shore to the highest.

I mosque

About Studio Niko Kapa

The mosque can be reached at the lower level through circulation paths facing the city. The footprint of the cones is minimized while these develop as “open mouths” that draw people inside. The base formations facilitate the vertical circulation network of moving walks and lifts that transfer people to the prayer room above, which appears to be floating on air. Visitors are given the opportunity to see the volume from various angles in order to experience different spatial conditions, while moving through or under different densities of the developed geometry. As they journey up through the pillars, they enter into the manmade landscape and to the heart of the building. Inside the vast prayer room the circulation pathways emerge through the floor in a fluid manner, providing indirect access points that do not interfere with the function of the Mosque. Only the “dunes” that lift locally the floor punctuate the totally free plan. These architectural elements together with the sinuous “mihrab” create the landscape of the Prayer Hall, while the interior doubles the transverse dimension to enable the whole space appearing unbounded. The structural system adopted, frees the interior from supporting columns and the unified space correlates with the vast environment of the sea.


Niko Kapa is the recipient of numerous International Architecture and Design awards with his work being published and exhibited worldwide. He is the founder of Studio Niko Kapa, a multidisciplinary team that supports innovative architecture and design, using research as an integral part of the design process. By developing a wide range of activities, the Studio aims to build on the growing sense of awareness towards the built environment. It seeks to shed light on modern architecture, urban and industrial design, targeting the recognition of modern heritage. It wishes to develop the cultural value of architecture and design and the recognition of the social impact it has on urban regeneration, building communities, education and vocational development. Studio’s Awards include German Design Award, AIA Middle East Design Award, Audi Innovation Award, Spark International Award, Iconic Award, American Architecture Prize, A’ Design Award, Asia Architecture Award and RTF Sustainability Award among others. Project: MOSQUE OF THE WATER Location: ABU DHABI, UAE Area / Size: 54 700 sm Program: Mosque, Landscaping Status: International Competition Award Lead Architect: Niko Kapa Design: Studio Niko Kapa Image credits: Studio Niko Kapa Awards International Design Award, Los Angeles 2017 Gold Prize Architecture Landmark International Design Award, Los Angeles 2017 Gold Prize Architecture Concept A’ Design Award, Italy 2016 Architecture, Building and Structure Design


I urban development

Argentina’s national oil company leads the way in creating sustainable development

Gas stations reimagined By: Jimena Martignoni


methods resulted in the Nordelta Gas Station being awarded the Architecture and Landscape Prize in 2011, from the International Committee of Architectural Critics in the XIII International Biennale of Architecture of Buenos Aires; and later, in 2012, the project achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification in the “New constructions” category. From the road, the building is barely visible as it blends with the surrounding greenery and the soft ascending curve of the roof fuses with the trees that line the sidewalk. The highest point of the arch roof reaches six meters, a decision that responds to the need of having a height of at least two meters at the final segments of both sides of the curve, where the structure houses public services. On the side, closest to the access road, there is

Argentina’s national oil company, YPF (Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales), has built its first energy efficiency gas station in Nordelta, 30 kilometers north of the capital city Buenos Aires. This will be the first in a series of plants that incorporate sustainable methods. The architectural concept of this project was therefore based on the creation of an icon, one that would be representative of both conceptual and constructive perspectives. In 2009, when YPF was still privatized and merged with the Spanish group Repsol, it called for a closed competition –with six renowned Argentinean design offices involved– to create this first environmentally friendly gas station in Argentina. The site was selected because of the favorable landscape conditions: enclosed in a very green setting, at the entrance to the largest urbanized zone outside the capital city and on the route, that connects with other important gated communities and neighborhoods in the North. The gas station is flanked by large groups of trees and a small lagoon. The wining project, designed by HamptonRivoira Arquitectos, took advantage of this situation and created an iconic, sculptural element on the site that mingles with the landscape. According to the designer Jorge Hampton, “The key is interpreting what the site says and, from there, linking together the ideal conditions of functionality, beauty and sustainability.” The different design components of the project and the incorporation of sustainable



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the car washing and repair facilities, together with some administration offices; at the opposite side of the curve, adjacent to one of the lagoons that make Nordelta, a large cafĂŠ and a terrace provide room for relaxing while waiting. The furniture was specially designed by Diana Cabeza, an architect specializing in urban furniture design.


This arrangement –of a large central space where the car moves and two lateral areas with different services– refers to the original cultural landscape of the Delta, in northern Buenos Aires. The Delta del Tigre is mainly represented by the group of islands, small rivers and streams located at the mouth of the Parana River, when it flows into the Rio de la Plata, or River Plate. The historical loading and unloading structure for fruit motorboats (that transported the fruit to market on the mainland) was a simple roof underneath which laid the house at one side and a storage space at the other. Nordelta and the entire area around this urbanized zone, edged by the Lujan River, which also flows into the same delta and has many tributaries, are part of this cultural imagery. The idea of a simple roof, containing services and becoming part of the landscape is rooted into the history of the local riverside.

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From an energy efficiency and climatic design perspective, the building itself is designed as a green roof. This means, in principle, the incorporation of all positive aspects these structures offer: storm water management, reduction of winter heating costs, storm water runoff, noise and air pollution and, in addition, increase of the green areas and provision of habitat for wildlife. The inclusion of systems of solar panels and storm water collection is another aspect that helps to make this project sustainable. Storm water runoff is collected on the roof and carried to an underground treatment cistern from where it is pumped up again to the green roof to be reused for irrigation. Additionally, storm water collected in the drains located in the pump islands’ perimeter is reused for the first stage of the car washing process. Double glazing facades collaborate to mitigate heat loss and passive sun control techniques help to decrease solar heat gain, while saving a great deal of energy. Positioned following the north-south direction, the two longest sides of the building respectively face east and west receiving the most sun. The shading system, made of horizontal bars, was originally conceived as being of the same certified wood used in the glass windowpanes of the cafÊ and the outdoor wooden decks; however, in order to avoid maintenance costs, it was finally built with aluminum, thus matching the building’s main structure.


Although the initial idea of building another seven gas stations with a similar ecological approach has not been put into practice yet, the one in Nordelta has became a symbol. This collective assessment responds not only to the appreciation of the sustainable methodologies implemented in the architectural layout but also, and for the most part, to the naturally established mimicry relationship between building and landscape.

Location: Nordelta, Northern Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires Architects: Hampton-Rivoira Client: YPF Argentina Year of Completion: 2011

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I distinctive imagination

Spanish architects reveal their unique design for a modern-day Kuwaiti home with an emphasis on privacy and outdoor space

A place in the sun By: AGi Architects

It all started with a question: Are you able to design an outside space that can be used 365 days a year? For moderate climates such as the climate in Spain, this is quite simple, but in the case of Kuwait, which experienced extreme temperatures, it was necessary to think about new strategies. So we asked the client: Could you live in an outer space located at different levels? Could you classify your outdoor activities in the evening and daytime, summer and winter events? These enquiries may be more difficult to answer for a Mediterranean family, but not for those who are used to living in adverse weather conditions and who easily know what can -and cannot- be done outdoors during the summer months when there is extreme heat. We decided to stratify the external uses according to the period of the year and the hours of the day in which these activities could be developed, and accordingly we designed three gardens. The first one is a Wet Garden on the ground floor, which allows us to activate related spaces during the hottest periods. The pool and some fountains are located in this garden, which is surrounded by the main social spaces of the house. The Summer Garden stands in the coldest layer, four meters below street level. Protected by the soil’s thermal mass and the projected shadows of the housing volume, a large sheet of water is placed to catalyze the evapotranspiration that -through convection- rises and refreshes the air towards upper spaces. The third one lies on the roof, an ideal place for winter days


and hot summer nights. A perforated skin covers the Winter Garden, avoiding direct solar radiation and raising the privacy of its inhabitants. These three gardens become unified as a single outer space and are connected -visually and physically- through exterior stairs; we begin to develop the rest of the home from the generation of the aforementioned voids, articulating the program of required uses around them. Another important aspect to understand is the internal circulation of the dwelling, strongly linked to the concept of “family” assumed by the clients. From the main entrance, the separation of spaces and levels acts as a filter with guests; therefore, those who circulate through it are only the ones closest to the family (including service staff and workers of the house). The circulation inside the building -both vertical and horizontal- is conceived in a fluid way, creating multiple routes and possibilities for the inhabitants to reach the rooms in a more or less direct way. The routes can be interior or exterior, offering differently qualified views and experiences. In this sense, all “public” areas are visually connected, leaving the most private rooms more intimate and looking outwards. Opposite to the closed volume towards the outside -emphasized by the uniform stone claddingis the total transparency of the spaces facing the interior courtyard -covered in white ceramic tile-, which reflect the light and helps to illuminate the rooms in a natural way. The same perforated skin that serves as a filter on the roof -a “deployé” metal mesh of anodized aluminum- has been used to maintain the privacy of the inhabitants from the neighbors’ eyes and to filter direct sunlight, serving as a shelter for the vegetation inside the aggressive Kuwaiti climate.


I distinctive imagination

AGi architects The international design firm AGi architects was founded by two architects educated at Harvard University, Joaquín Pérez-Goicoechea 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 provide comprehensive services in architecture, urban planning and design, interior design, research, consultancy and complementary services. AGi architects have 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; Nomination for the Mies van der Rohe Award 2015; Selected Project at FAD International Awards 2016; Best Religious Building 2014 at WAF Awards.

Name: Three Gardens House Type: Residential | 1,300 m2 Location: Al Funaitees, Kuwait Date: 2016 Client: Private Cost: Confidential Photography: Fernando Guerra – FG+SG

Team Main Architects: Nasser B. Abulhasan Project Leaders: Stefania Rendinelli, Joaquín Pérez, Goicoechea, Sara Barranco Project Team: Willy Ollero, Gwenola Kergall, Lulu Alawadhi, Ana López Cerrato Alfredo Carrato Cristina Ruiz Nolasco Hanan Alkouh Samer Mohammad Babu Abraham Abdulhafiz Bahi El Din Lighting: Irene Bas Interior Design: AGi architects Furniture supplier: Gunni & Trentino




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I therapeutic landscape

Background During 2011, we joined the design team of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, a 200 bed specialist paediatric and academic tertiary referral hospital. This hospital, which opened in 2016 and began treating patients this year, was envisioned by Nelson Mandela and relied solely on donor funding raised by the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. Therapeutic Landscapes The landscape design of this hospital (as with the other hospitals in the GREENinc portfolio) is firmly based on the concept and principles of therapeutic landscape design. A landscape with therapeutic value is purposely designed in a way that encourages patients and their visitors to interact with nature, in order to aid the process of healing. This choice to interact with nature, as well as making decisions while experiencing the garden, provides patients with a sense of control at a time when their health and wellbeing is in the control of others. In return, this sense of control, combined with the sensory benefits of being in a garden, physical activity and social interaction, results in a reduction in stress which ultimately leads to quicker recovery times and good health.


The Nelson Mandela Children’s hospital uses therapeutic landscape design as part of its healing process

Nelson Mandela’s legacy hospital By: GREENinc


I therapeutic landscape and experience. The winning architectural competition entry by Sheppard Robson of the UK, ignored the stereotype and conceptualised the landscape as the centre of the building’s design. The landscape comprises of 5 internal courtyard gardens on two levels and 5 external garden spaces, with specific functions that relate to the programming of the hospital. External Gardens Visitors’ and patients’ first impression of the facility will be formed by the Arrival Court. As a visit to a hospital is usually a stressful experience for children and their families, the landscape design aims to create a welcoming experience with elements such as colourful signage, comfortable seating, large trees and flowering plants. The Visitor Garden which leads from the reception areas, aims to provide a continuation of this welcoming experience. It includes a cafe terrace overlooking a circular pond, seating and a lawn area

The successful design of a therapeutic landscape rests on four pillars namely: visual and physical accessibility to the landscape; ease of mobility for people with movement difficulties; a variety of functional spaces that meet different needs; and the provision of sensory stimulation. The knowledge and understanding of these principles, as well as consultation with our client, medical specialists and other design professional, guided us in all aspects of the therapeutic design process. We also explored the relatively new concept of Horticultural Therapy and hope that our efforts will result in this programme being offered by the hospital. Project description: The typical hospital landscape usually consists of peripheral ‘green’ spaces that contribute little to the hospital environment


that can be utilised for fund-raising events. A narrow water channel set in a pathway and shaded by a pergola, connects the Café Terrace with the Children’s Garden at the far end of the courtyard. In this space, young visitors will have the opportunity to release pent-up energy away from the controlled hospital environment. The play elements include a colourful timber climbing structure with a slide, swings, a climbing net and a chalk-board, as well as a bird-bath and a mounded lawn. Two ride-on toys are mounted on a colourful mosaic panel depicting insects and animals, by artist Bronwyn Findlay. Playful sculptures of animals by artist Winston Luthuli are waiting to be discovered between the plants and under the climbing structure. The Sensory (Horticultural Therapy) Garden and Occupational Therapy Garden will provide an outdoor venue for the therapy

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I therapeutic landscape

programmes offered by the hospital. Horticultural therapy gives a child the opportunity to actively participate in the cycle of nature and to substitute his/her role as patient with the role of care-giver, through activities such as planting, re-potting, weeding, pruning and ‘harvesting’. These activities reduce boredom and stress, resulting in happier children that recover faster. The three raised planters in the Sensory Garden will allow children (standing or in wheelchairs) to easily touch, smell and harvest the plant material, which have been carefully selected for their sensory properties. Herbs and vegetables can be washed at a work bench which also provide storage space for gardening tools. The small seating area with tables and chairs can facilitate structured activities and informal meetings. The design of the Occupational Therapy Garden can accommodate different types of psychological and physical therapies. The design aims to provide for a broad range of functional requirements and to appeal visually to children, in order to motivate them to take part in their prescribed therapy. Therapeutic elements in this space include a sand-pit, water-play-basin, rubberized tricycle track, ride-on toys and an artificial lawn area where physical therapy equipment can be placed outdoors. A small seating area can be used for informal meetings and therapy sessions.


Internal Courtyard Gardens The 5 internal landscaped courtyards form the ‘green heart’ of the hospital and will ensure that every patient, visitor and staff member will be exposed to as much greenery and natural light as possible. The courtyards have been grouped into 3 active – and 2 passive healing courtyard gardens and the design for each space has been influenced by the nature of the surrounding hospital functions. The Day - , Play - and Family Gardens are active courtyard gardens on the ground floor level and will mostly serve as outdoor waiting and activity areas for day visitors. In-patients who are well enough, will also be encouraged to visit the courtyard gardens with their family or care-givers. The Day garden is a small courtyard garden close to the reception area. Visitors are drawn to this courtyard by a life-sized, interactive sculpture of a toy train, by artist Mary Sibande. The sculpture is placed on a timber deck surrounded by densely planted trees which will provide shade when mature. Timber benches and colourful tables with chairs provide seating. The Play Garden (situated opposite the Day Garden) is divided into a lower terrace over natural ground and an upper terrace constructed over slab. The timber decking and forest like planting of the Day garden is continued on the lower terrace, while the upper terrace is a multi-functional activity space, framed by flowering planting and covered by a rubberized play surface. A raised interactive water element, allows children to sail paper boats and to touch the shallow layer of water and underlying contoured sandstone surface. The largest element in the space is called the

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I therapeutic landscape


Tree House, as it features a seating platform that is reached by a ladder, monkey-bars and a basket-swing. An oversized Umlabalaba game board has been incorporated into the rubberized floor and the play pieces are made from cast polyurethane and wood. Children can draw and write on the colourful chalkboard structure named The Caterpillar and play with the abacus made from skateboard wheels. Movable seats in the shape of petals and circles can be moved around to create images and patterns that can be viewed from the first floor windows. The Family Garden at the far end of the Central Spine, is also divided into a lower - and an upper area and framed by flowering planting. The floor surface is covered by rubberized flooring and colourful mosaic tiles. Visitors are welcomed to the upper terrace by a ‘monster’ embedded in the rubberized floor surface. The image of this monster was inspired by a clay artwork, created by a child during a workshop facilitated by the Children’s Fund. Benches tiled with colourful mosaic tiles, loose furniture and shade canopies create a comfortable experience for patients and visitors. Tucked into the far corner, a timber clad structure called The Chatroom features three colourful conversation & reading spaces for children. The Story Screen is a sculptural trellis structure placed along the northern edge of the space. Small vignettes (laser cut from mild steel) have been inserted into the circular components of the screen, to provide many moments of discovery and delight. The images depicted in the vignettes were created during a workshop with children & 20 local artists, facilitated by The Coloured Cube in partnership with Assemblage. The Healing – and Quiet Gardens are passive courtyard gardens, situated on the lower ground floor level next to the surgical theatres and the intensive care wards. The purpose of these spaces is to provide a peaceful & restorative environment, where family members can experience a reprieve from their stressful circumstances. In an attempt to reconnect the occupants of the garden with nature, every surface and element were selected for its visual and sensory qualities. The gardens are framed by a dense buffer of


I I May 2016


I therapeutic landscape

evergreen planting, which provides a sense of privacy and security to the occupants of both the garden and the surrounding intensive care wards. A sculptural steel trellis placed along the length of each courtyard, adds interest when viewed from the building and also creates a permeable backdrop for a row of comfortable benches. Leaf-shaped reflection ponds and deciduous trees are arranged on a light sandstone gravel floor surface. Water contained in leaf-shaped troughs, reflects the sun and shimmer through the dappled tree canopy when viewed from the upper floors. When mature, the trees will provide a ‘green roof’ for the courtyard and will also bring nature to the occupants of the floors above. The Quiet Garden is the most secluded courtyard and aims to provide a retreat for family members in need of quiet time in a natural setting. Displayed on one of the courtyard walls, are six mosaic panels by the Soweto Art Ladies Mosaic Co-op. The artworks depict ‘paper prayers’ created by children during a workshop facilitated by the Children’s Fund. Family members can hang their own paper prayers from the branches of the trees, to further facilitate emotional healing. Conclusion: The purpose of these therapeutic garden spaces is to provide relief from the stress and emotional trauma of the hospital environment. Our aim was to create a landscape that would aid in the convalescence of the children and that would provide welcoming, supportive spaces for visitors and members of staff. As a tribute to the life of Nelson Mandela, the intention of this project (from conceptualisation to completion) has been to serve the children of South Africa.


Project Information: Location: Parktown, Johannesburg, South Africa Project completion: December 2016 Client: Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust Architect: Sheppard Robson International, GAPP Architects and Urban Designers, John Cooper and Ruben Reddy Architects Landscape Architect: GREENinc Landscape Architecture Planting Design: Dr. Erika van den Berg - Landscape Architect Contributors to the Landscape: Design Coordinator: Michelle Foster - Blackbird Design Art in the Landscape: Art Curator: Bongi Dhlomo Project Manager for art installation: Bié Venter Artists: Exterior Landscape Animal sculptures: Winston Luthuli Sensory Garden Interactive water feature: Usha Seejarim in collaboration with Bronwyn Findlay Mosaic panels: Bronwyn Findlay Interior Landscape Interactive train: Mary Sibande (manufactured by Alan Epstein) Umlabalaba play pieces & Abacus pieces: The Coloured Cube Movable flower shaped seating: Spitfire Furniture & Design Story Screen steel vignettes: The Coloured Cube in partnership with Assemblage Paper Prayer mosaic panels: Soweto Art Ladies Mosaic Co-op. Landscape Contractors: Main Contractor: Life Landscapes Play Structures: Truestyle Hard Landscaping Solutions Steel Screens: Spiral Engineering Wayfinding Signage: Vincent Truter - Creative Direction and Wayfinding Strategy, Carina Comrie - Creative Direction and Graphic Design, Lou Louw - Project and Production Management, Jenny Hattingh – DTP (Copyright - greeninc landscape architecture 2017)

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Position Vacant: Senior Landscape Architect Verdaus is a specialised landscape architectural practice based in Dubai since 2004, with experience on some of the highest profile projects in the Middle East, including Public Realm, Parks, Towers and Residential Estates. The Senior Landscape Architect will: > Work closely with the design director in developing concept designs > Present concept designs to Client and Consultant teams > Lead the development of design documentation packages The position includes strong opportunity for future career growth. The ideal candidate will possess: > An under graduate or post graduate degree in landscape architecture > A minimum of 7 years’ total post graduate experience > Preferably experience in working in multi-cultural environments > Demonstrated ability in design documentation To apply: > email applications to by Thu, 21 Sep 2017

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Sept'17 binder  

Our September issues focuses on smart solutions to everyday issues that crop up for Landscape professionals and often act as a barrier in re...

Sept'17 binder  

Our September issues focuses on smart solutions to everyday issues that crop up for Landscape professionals and often act as a barrier in re...