The Masdar Institute (MI) is the first part of the wider Masdar City Masterplan to be realised and creates a focus for the entire programme, as well as setting the context for subsequent development. The MI campus embodies the principles and goals of the Masdar City Masterplan to create a prototypical and sustainable city, one in which residents and commuters can enjoy the highest quality of life with the lowest environmental footprint.
The buildings are oriented to provide optimum shade and reduce cooling loads, and shaded colonnades at podium level exploit the benefits of exposed thermal mass. Facades are designed to respond to their orientation and photovoltaic installations on every roof are combined with carefully positioned photovoltaic panels to shade streets and buildings. Cooling air currents are channelled through the public spaces using a contemporary interpretation of the region’s traditional windtowers. The public spaces are further cooled by green landscaping and water to provide evaporative cooling.
The laboratories and residential accommodation are supported by a variety of social spaces, including a gymnasium, canteen, café, knowledge centre, majlis – or meeting place – and landscaped areas that extend the civic realm and help to create a new destination within the city. One, two and three-bedroom apartments are housed in low-rise, high-density blocks, which act as a social counterpoint to the educational laboratory environment.
This project signals Abu Dhabi’s commitment to creating an international centre to pioneer sustainable technologies within an environment which is itself carbon neutral.
Client: Mubadala Development Company
Consultants: Adams Kara Taylor, PHA Consult, Gillespies, Claude Engle Lighting Design, Acentech, Arup, decarbon8, Lerch Bates, Mott MacDonald, RFD, RW Armstrong, RWDI, Sandy Brown, Systematica, WS Atkins