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courtesy of  GILLESPIES

type: mixed-use
location: dubai/ uae
year: 2017
team: michael de wet - gokce gerekli yilmaz - sissy xiang - richard mcintyre 

client: Majid Al Futtaim



The immediate “Community Hub” site sits within the wider Talal Al Ghaf masterplan development on the south-eastern outskirts of Dubai. The wider development is well linked lying between key arterial feeder roads while the immediate Community Hub site takes center stage along an engineered lake system designed as an aesthetic water body as well as a usable recreational element.

Modest in nature, the Ghaf Tree has become symbolic of local traditions and hardy resilience in an often unforgiving environment. It has appropriately been branded to the Majid Al Futtaim development, Talal Al Ghaf in Dubai and represents a shifting perception in Landscape Architecture of what is considered appropriate or even beautiful within a local context. The use of the tree, both as an iconic element as well as a material will be key in a subtle and suggestive reference to the development theme. It will be used with a degree of restraint, primarily as a key focal element where a cognitive link can be made between the brand and the tree itself.

ZONE 1 The Hive Club and Spa
Based upon locality and cultural popularity, we see this zone of the masterplan being the key day and night event to the development. With its rich diversity of facilities and opportunities from a landscape aspect, this precinct, with a focus on leisure, will define the masterplan beyond the conventional. It will prove to be a highly social environment while offering sophisticated privacy on the other hand to spa users.
ZONE 2 The Hive Mixed Use
Seen primarily as a day and early evening event, this true mixed use zone will integrate livability with the vibrancy of retail. There are real opportunities for the landscape to respond in a variety of ways, from small-scale amenity to expansive spaces for outdoor events and temporary weekend vending.
ZONE 3 The Hive Residential
The relative buffering and distance of the residential clusters from the more active areas of the masterplan clearly defines this zone on the masterplan. The organic arrangement of the clusters suggest a landscape response in kind, one that will provide lush surroundings, tranquility and privacy for the residents. Once again a community driven leisure element provides an additional layer of response from a landscape aspect and should read as an exclusive amenity within the residential zone.
ZONE 4 Parkland Amenity (by others)
The parkland zone is a key open space not only for the immediate development but for those surrounding it as well. It has the capacity to facilitate a multitude
of activities, some formal while others more seasonal / flexible. This is a space where the community will come together and mingle, particularly among the
younger family groups.

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