Grimshaw and Hopkins asked to design buildings for Abu Dhabi zero carbon city

British architects Grimshaw and Hopkins have been asked to design buildings in the Masdar eco-city in Abu Dhabi.

The two are among a host of British architects understood to have been approached by Masdar’s development team with a view to designing signature buildings for the ambitious $22bn (£14.6bn) project.

Foster + Partners is the masterplan architect on the 6 sq km Masdar development, and is designing several of the buildings itself.

But the developers are keen to have a diverse spread of designs, and are tapping up British architects to help them do it.

A source said: “There are lots of British guys involved in Masdar, and they’re keen to get architects they know and respect to work on it.”

Masdar’s backers intend for it to be a centre for universities, research laboratories, and environmental consultants to create innovation in green technology. Gerard Evenden, head of Foster + Partners’ Abu Dhabi office, has called it the “silicon valley of sustainability.”

The news comes in the same week the UKT&I held a “partnership seminar” with Masdar for construction industry representatives to find out about opportunities on the project.

The attendance list, seen by Building, included British consultants Atkins, Balfour Beatty Rail, hurleypalmerflatt, Mott MacDonald, Parsons Brinkerhoff, and Pell Frischmann. A representative from Foster + Partners also attended.