The Emerald Plaza

The Emerald Plaza Abu Dhabi UEA by Emergent Architecture

The Emerald Plaza, A contemporary “square” linking buildings and people in extreme hot climates in the city of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates designed by Emergent Architecture. The project is based on creating continuity between three elements which were outlined in the design brief: a garden, central sculptural volume and network of canopies. the landscaped garden roof, acts as a canopy, offering shade to the walkways below, but also connects surrounding buildings with one another. pools inside give the feeling of a grotto and also have a cooling effect, providing a getaway from the hot environment.

Emergent Architecture’s Emerald Plaza design aims to create continuity between the three key elements specified in the brief: a garden, a central sculptural volume, and a network of canopies. At the macro scale, the project is a linking element between three high-rise buildings design by others.

Inspired by the souks of Northern Africa as a model for creating interiority and passive cooling as an alternative to open, western public spaces, the canopies merge into a landscaped roof which provides shade for walkways below. This roof also connects the perimeter high-rise buildings together, creating a bi-level entryway into each. In an environment where people often avoid the outdoors during daytime hours, this project offers a spatial and atmospheric solution; pools in the plaza underneath the roof have a cooling effect, both evaporative and psychological. During the day, when temperatures can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit, this involuted, grotto-like space becomes an inviting sanctuary.

Emergent’s investigation into surface-to-strand geometries lead to the conclusion that hybrid, transformative geometries offer a wider range of flexibility than surface, strand, or volume systems alone. Following this principle the surface of the roof transforms into a volume at the center of the plaza. The resulting space becomes a conference and media center, available to all three buildings.