Abu Dhabi, UAE
The Shahama neighbourhood in Abu Dhabi was built in the sixties, and designed with the then modern principles of the western world. This ignored specific needs of the Emiratis, such as reception rooms for visitors at the front of one’s private house, and the privacy of female residents. The resulting form is a compound of houses located at the centre of a plot. The gardens surrounding the residence is enclosed by high, view limiting walls. This leads to an unsustainable climate: A sun-beaten neighbourhood, and a socially insecure zone defined by a lot of walls and very few windows.
The introduction of housing typologies with courtyards and special visitor rooms along the streets, as well as wind towers and shaded patios, is a first step toward achieving a congenial, harmonious, socially secure and climate resilient neighbourhood. The public spaces are designed to accommodate local traditions. On the rear side of the houses, special public spaces are designed for women and children. Shaded walkways join the various squares, and provide climate friendly routes between different areas in the neighbourhoods.
with respect for local
tradition and climate"