The Middle East doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to its environmental record, but we have to give them credit for initiating some of the most gorgeous sustainable projects on the planet. We've collected seven of the most beautiful projects in Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, and Morocco ranging from an airport to a bank and a couple of stadiums - all of which rely on passive design and traditional building techniques to stave off the soaring summer temperatures. Of course, we couldn't leave out the extraordinary Masdar project that we visited earlier this year, which is touted as the world's first zero carbon zero emissions city - read on for a closer look!
Check out 7 Gorgeous Green Buildings in the Middle East:
Masdar City is one of the most well known projects in the Middle East. Touted as the world’s first zero carbon and zero emissions city but beset with economic troubles, Foster & Partner’s sustainable terra cotta-colored buildings are nonetheless very impressive to look at. Check out our exclusive pics of Masdar’s first few solar-powered buildings just outside of Abu Dhabi.
Foster & Partners is behind the greening of Abu Dhabi’s Central Shouq as well. By adding a series of low rise, ecologically sensitive shops, hotel, offices, and restaurants, as well as rooftop gardens, the internationally-renowned firm has given this old world market a sustainable lift.
Lo and behold, Foster & Partners is behind yet another green project in the Middle East. This time they have unveiled plans to build a massive solar-powered international airport in Kuwait. Although that country doesn’t have its own green building standard, the firm is shooting to bring this crazy-shaped project in line with LEED Gold standards.
Technically Morocco is in Africa, but most people think of this mysterious country as being in the Middle East. This is Foster & Partner’s first project in that country, and maybe one of their most beautiful. This dramatic domed bank features several ancient Arabic design techniques and a unique geothermal system that keeps it cool in summers.
This gorgeous lattice-domed parliament building in Abu Dhabi was designed by Ehrlich Architecture. By incorporating passive solar design and unique desert architectural techniques, the firm has ensured that this super efficient parliament building won’t use up all of the Emirate’s own energy.
Scau from France collaborated with Moroccan-based Archi Design to give the national football team a brand new, sustainable stadium. Concrete fin-like structures promote natural ventilation and passive design keeps the building nice and cool. This stadium is expected to be complete by 2013.
No one was more surprised than us to learn that the hot desert country Qatar won the bid to host 2022 Soccer World Cup, but a host of brand new solar-powered stadiums featuring cutting edge technology afforded by the country’s remarkable oil wealth will ensure that the fans don’t pass out from the heat.