Abu Dhabi Saadiyat Island Concept plan


Location: Abu Dhabi

Service: Concept Plan




Saadiyat is an uninhabited island covering some 28 square kilometres, and lies to the north east of Abu Dhabi City peninsula. The project presented here is the initial concept master plan for the site. Later plans for the same site have since superseded this proposal.

The development brief called for a new financial centre, with residential development for some 150 000 persons, and ancillary recreation including parks, golf courses and marinas), and cultural facilities including arts and music centres.

As a challenge to western traditions of site planning, the design for Saadiyat Island focussed on a bold and very local vision for the development of a new town. This involved the creation of an extensive waterway network, laid out in Islamic geometric patterns and flanked by generally low-rise built form. High-rise buildings were restricted to the city centre which also in contradiction to common practice, was sited on the beach. Guidelines for development of the built form were inspired by Islamic design imagery, and much of the landscaped precinct was planned to accommodate local vegetation.

This unique concept thus endorsed the creation of a new town with modern functions, but within a distinctly local socio-cultural and environmental context. In a sense this reflected values in Abu Dhabi at the time with expatriates and local people alike embracing a high quality lifestyle characterised by elements of tranquillity, cultural amenity, and easy access to nature.

The Webby Awards

With a pedigree stretching back to 1868, Halcrow is one of the internationally renowned multi-disciplinary engineering consulting firms in the world, with its headquarter based in London, England. Halcrow has a rich history of exciting projects through the decades. According to the American Engineering-New Record Magazine 2011, Halcrow Group Ltd ranked 36th of the top 200 international design firms.

Halcrow(China) is a professional design company established in Shanghai in 2002. We focus on for China's urban planning and architectural design business, and provide an international high level design service for customers.