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Emirati students build a sustainable and healthy center for UAE's residents

Jasmine Al Kuttab /Abu Dhabi
Filed on January 31, 2016
Badria Mohammed Al Maazmi, Mariam Abdallah Al Hammad and Hoda Khamis Kanoo
Badria Mohammed Al Maazmi, Mariam Abdallah Al Hammad and Hoda Khamis Kanoo

Badria Mohammed Al Maazmi and Mariam Abdallah Al Hammadi built a dynamic community center, which heavily focuses on a neighbourhood that embraces the UAE's natural environment, while promoting a healthy living.

Two Emirati architectural students were recently honoured for their outstanding innovation in the field of design and science, which won them the prestigious Mubadala Design Commission award in the Capital.

Badria Mohammed Al Maazmi and Mariam Abdallah Al Hammadi built a dynamic community center, which heavily focuses on a neighbourhood that embraces the UAE's natural environment, while promoting a healthy living.

As part of the criteria for the Mubadala Design Commission, applicants were required to submit a design proposal for a 'Creativity Zone' within one of three sectors areas: a healthcare facility, educational environment, or aeronautical environment.

The design of the zone must demonstrate a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) educational philosophy, which needed to be inspired by the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.

Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) also honoured the young designers, and Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo, Founder of the ADMAF, said that she believes STEAM must play an integral role in all societies, as it helps to unlock students' imagination.

"The fibers of creativity that fuel innovation within the society, represents the core of the country's development plans. This allows the youth of today to think differently and create solutions for our future that are based on new ways of thinking."

Badria Mohammed Al Maazmi told Khaleej Times that promoting a healthy living for citizens and residents of the UAE was initially what inspired the project.

"All the functions in the community centre are structured in a way to satisfy the people within the community itself."

She noted that the core concept of the centre was designed to enhance the quality of life, promote healthy living and give a sense of inner calm, that are inspired by nature.

Citrullus Colocynthis, a desert plant with a spreading behaviour influenced the non-linear, organic design of the architectural space.

"We wanted to promote a healthy living for all ages, so we incorporated sport facilities, gymnasiums, skateboarding parks and playgrounds."

The 24-year-old pointed out that while living a healthy and active life, it is equally important to grow and develop one's education, thus including a library and facilities for students to study in was just as vital.

Meanwhile, the design and the structure of the community honoured and reflected on the nation, as it symbolised the unique history, culture and heritage of the UAE.

"We designed a community center that is greatly inspired by UAE's desert, while the structure of the hand is meant to symbolise a society coming together as one."

"We want people to go back to nature, to spend more time with their environment and less time with their technology," she added.

Al Maazmi noted that she certainly hopes investors will take-like in the girls' project and turn it into a living-reality.

"Many have complimented our work and showed great interest already."

She believes that it's necessary for all students to achieve their dreams; no matter how high their bars are set.

"Don't stop until you achieve your ideas. Always seek the help you need and make sure you reach your destiny."

Mariam Abdallah Al Hammadi told Khaleej Times that creating a central hub to be loved and used by all ages was the main vision for the mega project.

"We want to show how one can live a healthy life while maintaining a sustainable environment," added the 26-year-old.

Thus, the students also created the unique centre, which integrates an open exhibition area, multiple courtyards for open-air performances and recreational facilities to refresh the mind and body.

"Designing this centre as a dynamic and open space was a big challenge. However, it changed the way we approached design by putting the needs of users first."

jasmine@khaleejtimes.com

 





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