Office of the Future

    The landscape for the world’s first 3D printed commercial building has a futuristic yet natural feel.

    In creating event space for the exploration of emerging technologies, the existing trees have been preserved providing atmospheric shade.

    © Killa Design
    © Killa Design

    Museum of the Future

    Hailed by National Geographic as one of the most beautiful museums in the World, Cracknell created a resilient landscape setting for this iconic building.


    The Museum’s distinctive torus sits on a landscaped mound, a key part of the arrival experience that tells mankind’s story of the future. We worked closely with Killa Design on the complex forms and engineering systems so that our innovative and sustainable landscape is in keeping with the overarching goals of the Museum. Due to the nature of the design, landscape and architecture are highly integrated, with the landscape forming the ‘skin’ of the museum buildings located below the ‘mound’, including exhibition spaces, back of house facilities and parking. The illusion created is that of a sculptural building resting lightly on a natural hill which provides a distinct and arresting counterpoint to the intensely urban context. It is designed to allow visitors to enter through and climb up in order to experience an unusual view of the surrounding city. 

    Standard landscape techniques for soil and planting medium retention could not be used on the steep mound; green wall technology together with a recycled-material geocell system were used to retain and stabilise the slopes, in conjunction with specialised smart irrigation drip-line systems using grey/treated sewage water. All of these elements were contained within an engineered ‘sandwich’ that clothed the mound in a living green carpet. 


    Most of the plant species used are native or drought/salt tolerant, are perfectly adapted to local environmental conditions and require minimal water/fertilizer to sustain them. The trees produce masses of nectar rich flowers supporting native bees, and seasonal fruits for wild bird populations. 


    © Ahmad Alnaji
    © Sarah Lou

    Museum of Islamic Art

    I.M. Pei’s iconic art museum bridges Islamic history and Doha’s urban growth. 

    The Museum of Islamic Art in Doha is a stunning space that showcases an extensive range of art and artefacts from the Islamic world, offering conservation displays and immersive exhibitions. Set on an island off a peninsula, the Museum is composed of two cream coloured limestone buildings connected across a central courtyard and encircled by an informal park.


    The landmark building draws influences from ancient Islamic architecture, a theme that is extended throughout Cracknell’s landscape design which links the Museum to Doha Harbour. The surrounding park includes seating and relaxation areas, a function lawn and dynamic waterfront promenade providing framed views of the Museum. 

    KSA Pavilion EXPO 2020

    Celebrating Saudi natural landscapes in a futuristic setting.


    Palms beyond the skylights filter the Dubai sun in soft shadows over elegant hanging gardens with cascades of yellow Maiden’s jealousy and pink Sweet Potato Vine to create a cool and relaxing environment.

    The EXPO 2020 Dubai KSA Pavilion cantilevers over terraces of native trees, flowering shrubs and hanging gardens. Working closely alongside Boris Micka Architects (BMA) on the interaction of the architecture with the landscape we ensured a consistent design language. The Vision was for an inspirational journey showcasing the Saudi Kingdom and its ‘Natural Wonders’.


    On arrival, a shaded events Plaza provides seating for audio-visual displays and folklore performances. A refined palette of locally sourced grey granites and natural stone allows the Pavilion and surrounding gardens to ‘sing’ their true colours, especially at night when there are projections and LED displays. 


    Surrounding the Pavilion, an oasis of KSA native date palms is planted with a colourful understorey. The palms are arranged on an intricate grid that allows dappled light to filter into the exhibition spaces below where cascading greenery creates a cool environment. A particular challenge was to suspend the palm gardens in a complex spanning steel structure; we successfully developed a water efficient automatic irrigation system and drainage to the trees.


    Inside the Pavilion, a contemplative dry garden epitomises Saudi Arabia’s natural Wadis. Palms help to contain the tranquil garden and sensitively conceal back of house facilities while a mirrored green retaining wall reflects the garden back on itself, adding visual delight. After EXPO the Pavilion will remain as an enduring legacy of the World Fair. 

    © Boris Micka Associates
    © Boris Micka Associates
    © Boris Micka Associates

    Hudayriyat Mar Vista – Walk of Life

    Hudayriyat Island was once home to Arabian pearl divers. Now, it’s a remarkable new community and lifestyle destination.

    By combining a sensitive coastal heritage walk, a beach-front glamping site, sports complex and lively restaurant zone, Hudayriyat brings many aspects of landscape interpretation and education to a new generation in an accessible, engaging, immersive and innovative way.


    The ‘Walk of Life’ heritage trail protects important archaeological remains. Shell middens show evidence of pearl fishermen, and dugong & shark remains demonstrate the importance of marine resources in the past. Shaded interpretation nodes and sensitively placed boardwalks provide access to this fascinating history.

    Photography by Alessandro Merati © Cracknell

    Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

    Formal landscape setting for Frank Ghery’s long anticipated cultural and architectural icon in Abu Dhabi – the largest of the World’s Guggenheims.

    Sitting on the waterfront, the building adds drama to the Abu Dhabi skyline with the public realm completing a prominent section of the city’s waterfront.

    Etihad Museum

    Celebrating the founding of the United Arab Emirates, the Etihad Museum is built on the site of the signing of the Union.

    Memorialising this historic event, a contemporary landscape setting was designed for Moriyama & Teshima’s striking building. Use of specimen trees creates calm, unified spaces from wide expansive gardens to intimate tranquil courtyards.

    © Darren Bradley Photography
    © Darren Bradley Photography
    © Felix Loechner

    House of Wisdom

    Referencing the cultural significance of making a repository for important books, four foundational design pillars of Heritage, Culture, Environment and Education are echoed throughout an award-winning landscape design.


    Working closely with Foster + Partners a synergy was built between architecture and landscape creating dramatic views in an iconic setting. Connecting the building with its urban context, a focal point was developed around a monumental sculpture by Gerry Judah, ‘The Scroll’, marking the Emirate being UNESCO World Book Capital in 2019.

    Complementing the building’s formality, a faceted landscape of contemporary angular forms greets the visitor. From this formal arrival the landscape divides into a series of spaces: Gardens of Knowledge, Education, Poetry and Arabic Calligraphy interpreted from classical arabesque gardens. A series of screens separates these into intimate ‘rooms’, while lush shaded courtyards extend the building’s interior spaces. Water is a key feature. A contemporary re-interpretation of a traditional falage is used to irrigate a palm oasis, and a cooling mirror pool adds drama. Slopes, terraces and walls provide engaging play, and learning is encouraged through a connection with nature. A sensitive mix of native and adaptive plants reduce the water demand and create an authentic, regional landscape, helping to conserve indigenous flora.


    Shade trees arranged around the building and smart landscape design features lower the overall energy consumption. LED lighting enhances the architectural lines in contrast to the warm, softly lit social spaces where, inspired by the function of the library, the exterior benches are accompanied by reading lamps.

    © Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq)
    © Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq)
    © Photography by Alessandro Merati
    © Photography by Alessandro Merati
    © Photography by Alessandro Merati
    © Photography by Alessandro Merati