x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Futuristic Abu Dhabi park to be built in the desert shade

Spread over 125,000 square metres, Al Fayah Park, on Airport Road, will be covered by a sand-coloured canopy, 20 metres high, with the appearance of cracked desert land from above.

Designed by London-based Thomas Heatherwick, founder of Heatherwick studio, the park will feature an outdoor cinema, an organic garden, picnic areas and cafes and restaurants. Photo courtesy Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation
Designed by London-based Thomas Heatherwick, founder of Heatherwick studio, the park will feature an outdoor cinema, an organic garden, picnic areas and cafes and restaurants. Photo courtesy Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation

An Abu Dhabi-based philanthropic foundation that funds art, culture, education and health projects will develop a futuristic covered garden as a public space.

Spread over 125,000 square metres, Al Fayah Park will be located on Airport Road opposite the Dome@Rawdhat.

The Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation has selected the London-based Thomas Heatherwick to design the park. The designer is behind projects such as the UK Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo in 2010, the Olympic Cauldron for the London 2012 Olympic Games and London’s new Garden Bridge.

Construction is expected to begin by the end of the year and will be complete in 2017.

Once finished, the park will supply fresh fruits and vegetables to local cafes and restaurants. It will also include play areas, exercise paths and an organic patch, besides showcasing flowers and plants native to the Arabian Gulf region.

A public library, picnic areas, a mosque, an outdoor cinema and community spaces to host live performances and local festivals will be included.

All this will be covered by a sand-coloured canopy, 20 metres high, with the appearance of cracked desert land from above. It would provide partial shade to the plants underneath.

Designed to be the latest attraction for residents and international visitors, Al Fayah Park is among the initiatives to develop outdoor public spaces in the capital.

The capital will have 130 parks and play areas by 2017, up from 48 parks and 37 playgrounds today, said Abu Dhabi Municipality. Existing parks such as Mushrif and Khalifa parks are undergoing renovation. New ones will be built in Mohammed bin Zayed City, Khalifa City, Shakhbout City, Shamkha City and Al Adla City.

A model of the layout of Al Fayah Park will be showcased at the three-day Cityscape Abu Dhabi, which starts on Tuesday

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