Recycled water, solar shading and "healthy living" focus

HOK International and HOK sport architecture created a masterplan for a major urban community for 115,000 people in the outskirts of Al Ain city, Abu Dhabi.

Al Ain

Al Ain is positioning itself as a low-rise, low-impact development and an ecologically-aware alternative to Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The 900 hectare mixed-use masterplan has been designed to encourage energy effecient water-based transport using extensive waterways and canals to link the city's residential areas, academic departmentsand health facilities. Recycled water will be used to replenish waterways, golf courses and lanscapes. Buildings will be adapted to the desert environment with the use of solar shading.

HOK director, Pierre Baillargeon said: ‘In this location at this point in time, Al Ain is very different. Its focus on proximity to nature and healthy living is in contrast with other urban developments in this region. Al Ain is not a housing suburb; it’s a sustainable family lifestyle.’

The community will include 30,000 apartments, 3,500 villas, 800,000 m² retail and leisure facilities and 1.5 million m² office space as well as a 40,000 seat enclosed stadium.

The masterplan is due for completion at the end of summer 2007.