Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Marina Beach Towers in U.A.E by Oppenheim Architecture Design
May 6th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Based on our initial reading of the site we took the opportunity to maximize the quantity of units on the beach. This approach has permitted the introduction of new unit types with the spatial adjacencies of a village. What has emerged, in addition to the typologies, is a response that is simultaneously building and landscape; a project whose fluidity merges sky and water. This allows for more varied living experiences beyond the capabilities of the normative tower. Basing the unit types on a standard module has allowed its shifted repetition to develop into the woven tapestry of the façade; a surface that responds to every nuanced shift of light, while providing critical protection from the intense sun.
The emergent building has also allowed the creation of an ethereal botanical wonderland infused with ambient light. This shaded tapestry envelops the senses with subtle responses to sight, scent and sound. Contrary to the established master plan, which hinders the development of a continuous garden with swaths of roadway, there has been a distinct desire to maintain continuity across the entire site enabled, controlled and enhanced by the topography.
The surface operates as a fluid response to the distinct characteristics; private and public, of the beach and marina zones on the site. From this new ground has also emerged the opportunity for the integration of unique amenities usually associated with the lifestyle such a location allows. The symbiosis between building and landscape has also resulted in the opening of the promenade into a bazaar of curated retail and dining experiences and the opportunity for the nestling of exclusive yacht and beach clubs.
An integral aspect of this orchestration has been our focus on self sustainability and an embrace of the natural resources. Herein we have deployed our only apparatus of exploitation. The building form itself becomes a device for luring cool breezes to spaces shielded from the sun, referencing the regional time-tested tradition of wind catchers. Inconspicuously and opportunistically the structure incorporates solar and wind arrays for the generation of some of this building’s required energy. Other integral systems deployed towards complete self sustenance, include various methods for the reuse of the vast amounts of water flowing through the site.
Sustainability is imbued throughout the life cycle, where intelligent planning provides innovative opportunities for energy and resource conservation, up-cycling (as opposed to re-cycling), waste, and healthy building initiatives; where ecology and sustainability allow even greater guilt-free luxury, not self denial. The orchestration of all these imperatives has generated an elegance derived from simplicity that addresses all of the needs of development without any of the proliferating exuberance.
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