The incomparable Museum of the Future opened its doors in February this year. We celebrate the success of this unique landscape in a feature article in Landscape ME this month – Read it here!
Our designers, horticulturalists and irrigation engineers created a fitting and innovative mounded setting and arrival experience for this spectacular building which tells the human story of the future and sets a new resilience benchmark. But what makes the landscape so special isn’t necessarily obvious to the onlooker.
The visionary design closely integrates the landscape with the architecture. Forming the ‘skin’ of the museum building, the landscape cleverly conceals the lobby, auditorium, cafés, restaurants, retail, parking and building services. Intelligent systems create the verdant ‘hill’ using a mix of green wall and bespoke technologies. Using soil moisture sensors and guided by prevailing weather information, the correct dose of irrigation water is given to keep the plants at optimal health.
Carpeting the mound are Sea-purslanes, succulents naturalised along the coastal sabkhas or salt flats. They are quick growing, extremely heat/salt tolerant and require minimal irrigation making them the ideal sustainable choice. Striking out against this low growing succulent growth are native trees and palms which are perfectly adapted to local environmental conditions and their masses of nectar rich flowers and seasonal fruits support native bees, and wild bird populations.
Care was taken to fit this significant landscape and architectural intervention into a complex urban site and to create plazas that interface elegantly with the existing public realm and civic spaces.
The landscape design was integral to the overall building concept for an expressive and forward-thinking Dubai architectural statement, and LEED Platinum rated world sustainability benchmark. As one of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s quotes on the Museum’s façade reads: ’The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it, and execute it.’ We couldn’t agree more.