Traditional date palm materials are being used to create a food shelter at Al Ain Oasis, a UAE UNESCO World Heritage Site
With resource shortages of both food and construction materials an ever present issue, London based architect Sandra Piesik of 3 ideas Ltd worjed to create a sustainable solution to store food and a place for farmers to sell products.
The new shelter which utilises a palm leaf arch structure and fabric covering is the result of a six year research and development programme set up to demonstrate that using traditional materials and modern techniques can deliver cost effective, environmentally sustainable solutions to social development programmes.
Also involved were engineers BuroHappold who with the 3 ideas Ltd team carried out extensive research in to the structural use of palm leaves and constructed trial structures, prior to designing the arched gridshell frame currently under construction at Al Ain Oasis.
Known locally as “The Sabla”, the project is supported and hosted by TCA Al Ain HistoricEnvironment Department, and offers a case study of ancient connections between agricultural and cultural heritage. Located on the former Livestock Market site next to Al Ain National Museum and Al Ain Oasis – the structure will act as a catalyst for a regeneration of Al Ain Oasis and provide a place where farmers from the oasis could sell their products.