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LAVA’s Winning Design for Masdar’s City Center
Posted By Bridgette Meinhold On August 28, 2009 @ 1:00 am In Architecture,Sustainable Building,Urban design | 4 Comments
Australia-based LAVA Architects  recently won the bid to design the City Center for super sustainable eco-city  Masdar in the UAE. LAVA imagined an outdoor city center based on traditional European public plazas that would encourage social interaction. However, Masdar’s arid climate  make outdoor spaces subject to the blistering heat of the desert. To ameliorate this problem and create a comfortable place to gather and shop, the architects incorporated adaptive building technologies, and efficient use of energy and water — creating a rather dazzling sustainable city center.
LAVA’s design for Masdar’s  city center includes a central plaza, five-star hotel, long stay hotel, convention center, entertainment complex as well as retail facilities. While most retail and public gathering spaces in the Middle East are located indoors and air-conditioned, LAVA  wanted to create a distinct outdoor public plaza modeled after traditional European plazas. In order to maintain a comfortable atmosphere, the architects designed “solar umbrellas” to shade the plaza and keep the air moving through. Modeled after flowers, the solar umbrellas open up during the day and close up at night to keep the plaza cool.
The city center includes many other integrated sustainable design features, such as adaptive building facades that can adjust and angle themselves to receive more or less sun, and wall surface materials that respond to changing temperatures and contain minimal embedded energy. The city center will also store water underground, have rooftop gardens  to grow food, reuse organic waste, utilize interactive light poles, interactive and heat-sensitive technology, generate its own energy  and be very water-efficient. An intriguing design for the desert that has all the components to be super sustainable city center for potentially the world’s most sustainable city.
Via Ecofriend 
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 LAVA Architects: http://www.l-a-v-a.net/
 super sustainable eco-city: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/08/19/eco-city-seeking-highest-rating-from-the-three-major-major-green-rating-systems/
 Masdar’s arid climate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masdar_City
 Masdar’s: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/02/06/plans-unveiled-for-worlds-first-zero-carbon-zero-waste-city-masdar-city/
 rooftop gardens: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/07/15/the-roof-the-roof-the-roof-is-a-farm/
 generate its own energy: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/01/21/masdar-begins-construction-on-10mw-solar-power-plant/
 Ecofriend: http://www.ecofriend.org/entry/eco-architecture-lava-studio-to-design-the-city-center-of-masdar-city/
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