The Burj Khalifa Tower Park is an amazing 11-hectare green oasis filled with native and drought tolerant plants and a geometric hardscape with enough pathways and trails to get lost in. The park has the incredible job of connecting the heavens with the earth by scaling down the size of the building to match the surrounding street scape and make it more human-sized. Featured in the park are a lake-edge promenade, a functional island, a leisure forest grove, outdoor dining areas, a children’s play space, reflecting pools, six major water features and promenades that connect to the rest of the city. Palm-lined greenways provide shaded spaces to walk and relax.
Wong took inspiration from native plants, traditional Islamic patterns and especially the hymenocallis, or spider lily, which is seen through an iterative pattern of banding including concentric and radiating arcs and criss-crossing lines. Railings, benches and signs continue with this imagery. Irrigation for this spectacular landscape is sourced via a synergistic relationship with the tower itself. The Burj’s chilled water cooling system produces significant amounts of condensation, which is saved and used to irrigate the park. In fact, SWA’s design allowed the 15 million annual gallons of condensed water to be collected, drained, and pumped into the site irrigation system for use on the tower’s landscape plantings.
This complicated and intense design project required coordination with the architects and engineers on the part of the landscape architects. John Wong, who led the project’s design, took the time to answer a few of our questions about the creation of the park. Read on to see what he said.