Zaha Hadid Architects has been chosen to design the central hub at the Aljada development in Sharjah, a United Arab Emirates city on the Arabian Gulf. This is the firm’s first project in the UAE since Hadid’s death in 2016.
The proposal conceptualises the moment a water droplet strikes the earth’s surface. An array of elliptical buildings occupy the site, designed to channel cooling winds into civic spaces and courtyards during the summer months.
Zaha Hadid Architects’ design for the central hub incorporates the use of treated wastewater for irrigation. Meanwhile the architecture is said to also incorporate active and passive measures to lower the demand for indoor cooling.
At the centre an observation tower is surrounded by vibrant squares with water features irrigated by recovered and recycled water. Tensile canopies sustain a microclimate at ground level for verdant gardens of species native to the region.
‘While all of the companies in this design competition offered outstanding designs, Zaha Hadid Architects’ integrated design approach matched our vision for Aljada’s central hub as an interconnected destination‘, HE Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Arada, said. ‘This approach is synonymous with Arada’s mission to develop rewarding and engaging communities, building the Sharjah of tomorrow’.
Chosen by lifestyle property developers ARADA, the central hub will comprise an entertainment and cultural zone within the $6.8 billion development. The development launched last year, with a land spread of 2.2 square kilometers in what is the last piece of undeveloped land in the heart of sharjah city. The project will be delivered in phases with its entire completion expected in 2025.