Since I've been posting a lot of Atkins development in the ME.. I thought I'd post their latest projects that caught my attention.
Location: Isa Town, Bahrain
Status: Tender Stage
Office and retail facilities joined by an axial connection built in 2 phases. The site has an existing mall where most shops who locate themselves there either loose money and close or earn just enough to break even. The project started as an extension and development into a complete master plan redesign.
The mall is in desperate need for revitalization but there are so many factors to be considered about the surroundings... there are mosques which causes severe traffic during Friday prayers because of the lack of car parking... the existing mall itself lacks enough car parks and that needs to be addressed. For some reason that I don't seem to understand only few malls seem to maintain their tenants in their retail spaces... a lot of malls that have been built for years now remain new because more than half of their retail spaces are unoccupied... This really needs to be addressed as well.
Location: Tianjin, China
Status: Design stage
3 mixed-use office, residential, commercial and hotel towers which will form a central landmark. On top of each building there are wind turbines.
The towers look nice with a relatively original concept of stacked cubes shifted slightly different ways to form gardens at different levels. The appearance of the building is great there are no info about its functions so can't say if its as practical as it looks.
Client: Nakheel Hotel and Resorts
Location: The Palm Jumeirah
Status: Preliminary design
2 asymmetrical towers which will house the first Trump Hotel in the ME with its concept of luxury condominium. The towers will accommodates residential apartments, boutique offices, resort spa, swimming pool, health club, restaurant, a business center and a Beach and Yacht Club making use of the Canal under. It will be located at the center of the trunk of the Palm island to be the gateway to the new development.
Although the development concept is great with trains and pedestrians in a higher level and water features/activities and all that... the tower itself is hideous... It looks like the headquarter of an evil villain in a Batman/spiderman/superman comic book story... or an alien spaceship that just landed in this man-made island to punish us for messing with the earth natural resources... I just don't feel that its welcoming... its very intimidating and not in a good sense...
Location: Kuwait, Kuwait
Status: Design Stage
5 star hotel, apartment tower, office tower and retail complex. Because of the intense heat of the country the development has a central courtyard and plaza that is intended to be used and enjoyed throughout most of the year by the use of evaporative cooling and shading devices. Passive and active solar features are being used to achieve energy efficiency and sustainable development.
Its good to see that sustainability is an issue here and its being studied carefully. However I think that the three towers look lifeless and meaningless... they have no characteristic at all that links them to the surroundings.
Client: Park Gulf Construction Ltd.
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan
Status: Design Stage
5 buildings consisting of a 5 star hotel, 2 apartments tower, 1 office tower and a shopping mall underneath. A panoramic restaurant is located above the hotel capturing views of the city and the mountains.
Ummmm... could it be another sail shaped building to add to Atkins record? I don't know... the building looks nice and fancy I have to admit but I think its design concepts have been overused there are too many building that look very similar. I wonder if there are any sustainability concepts involved and if its aimed to be a low carbon building?