Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Meraas appoints world’s top architect

Cityscape Dubai

Japanese architect Nikken Sekkei a global leader in sustainable design showcases its design for Jumeirah Gardens at Cityscape

The world’s top architectural practice and global leader in sustainable design, Nikken Sekkei, has been appointed by Dubai-based Meraas Development to help design the new Jumeirah Gardens project in Dubai.

In addition the award-winning Japanese consultancy is presenting a series of selected ‘green’ designs from its extensive regional and international portfolio at Cityscape Dubai, highlighting the global allure of Cityscape, which opened yesterday (Monday 6th October) at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Nakamura Mitsuo, Chairman of Nikken Sekkei, said, “Our spirit complements the latest international market trends in sustainability, especially here in the Middle East, where efficiency, design and sustainability are combined with a long term vision. Meraas Development embodies that ethos by focusing on holistic urban planning, to enhance every aspect of city life, through sustainable design and energy conservation.”

Nikken Sekkei’s design forms an integral part of the Jumeirah Gardens development, as a new sustainable green oasis in Dubai. The city comprises tranquil residential districts, areas dedicated to small offices for entrepreneurs as well as office towers and hotels. Natural breeze corridors will be created by the curvature design of the buildings which once combined with greenery and landscaping ensures a pleasant living environment.

Nikken Sekkei is also presenting sustainable design successes, such as the Dubai Maritime City Landmark Tower - the centerpiece of the new Dubai Maritime City and surrounding buildings.

Also at Cityscape visitors can view the stunning mixed-use design Andalusia Gardens in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, developed by Kinan International. In total, almost 500,000 square metres has been earmarked for sustainable development, enhancing the area with an elevated public park, with trees, gardens, water features and shaded areas, which mitigate the effects of the harsh climate.

Across the Caspian Sea in Kazakstan, Nikken Sekkei is designing an entire mixed-use community in the upcoming city of Almaty, with developers Kvarstroi and Tengizstroi. One of the key features is a central pedestrian area accommodating 3 ‘cores’ one each for entertainment, business and community. This enclave breathes life into the heart of the city, reducing substantially carbon emissions and improving the quality of life for its residents.

Moving further north, the US$ 3.5 billion Metropoliya project in Moscow, developed by the Metropol Group, will also be on view. The project was unveiled for the first time in the Middle East at Cityscape Abu Dhabi earlier this year, the first time any Russian developer had ever showcased a project in the region.

The focus of the mammouth Metropoliya project – grouped around ten buildings connected by green public spaces – is its sustainability and energy efficiency with a low carbon footprint. One of the key design principles is the seamless connection to the metro network. Using technologies tried and tested in Japan, Nikken Sekkei is confident that the development will use 60% less energy than equivalent projects.

Construction on Metropoliya will begin next year and reach completion by 2016. Central to the project will be a signature 364 metre tall tower of strikingly simple design with smaller towers arranged in lotus flower pattern providing residential, office and commercial space.

Two other notable projects in South Korea are the Young-Dong project developed by POSCO Engineering & Construction and Gajeoung project. Young-Dong would not look out of place in Dubai, soaring 450 metres high and reshaping the skyline of Seoul. The Gajeoung project is more down-to-earth in comparison, aimed at regenerating 97 hectares of urban landscape in downtown Incheon.

In addition Nikken Sekkei, along with a host of international partners, is also exhibiting technically advanced projects in China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan and Montenegro.

“We create innovative designs secure in the knowledge that we still deliver optimum performance levels in energy consumption and water conservation, with a minimal carbon footprint. It is important that residents don’t have to compromise their lifestyles, to accommodate lower carbon emissions. This is the future of sustainable design,” added Dr. Fadi Jabri, General Manager of Nikken Sekkei’s representative office in the UAE.

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