Foster + Partners has completed the first part of its Central Market scheme in Abu Dhabi – a shopping development based on a traditional Arabian souk
The 600,000m² mixed-use scheme features squares, courtyards and alley ways lit with sunlight and in vibrant colours.
The tower’s reflective facades also help to reduce the need for maintenance in the desert environment. The design features solar collectors and can be naturally ventilated during parts of the year, however in the hottest conditions the building can by air conditioned.
The architect firm said: “Abu Dhabi’s Central Market is one of the oldest sites in the city. Inspired by the traditional architecture of the Gulf this scheme aims to reinvent the market place, giving the city a new civic heart.
“By offering an alternative to the globalised one-size-fits-all shopping mall it offers a distinctive modern interpretation of the regional vernacular. As a shopping experience it combines luxury goods boutiques with food markets and craft-based trades.
“Like the traditional souk, these different experiences are brought together in an interior architecture of dappled sunlight, bright colours and fountains, with a changing rhythm of squares, courtyards and alley ways.”