"Cool Abu Dhabi" was a global competition that put a call out for designers to develop creative ideas to combat climate change and provide cool areas in the often sweltering Abu Dhabi heat. And one of the winners came up with perhaps the coolest concept of all. "The Oasys" by Mask Architects is an "artificial breathing palm modular structure system," aka space-age-like palm trees in the heart of the city.
What does that entail exactly? The renderings show a series of stations that are like islands meant for everything from resting and socializing to sports and dining. On those islands are structures shaped like palm trees, which are the central portion of the design. These futuristic palm trees spray a light mist and collect solar energy through panels on the palms' top. Together these cool the immediate surroundings allowing for pleasant outdoor activities.
Not only do the palm trees protect against the sun, but they also act as noise barriers and protect against sand storms. Live trees will be planted around the artificial structures to help block the wind and sand as well. They also enhance the oasis vibe of the overall design.
What's more, is the proposal allows for the system to move across the city. The firm suggested a network where a foundation with water and other necessary utilities will already be in place. Then as needed, these oases can easily be constructed using modules. Each module is adjustable and can be made larger or smaller depending on why it's being used. This provides immense flexibility for a city with changing needs socially and climate-wise. But, it can also be a permanent installation if the government deems it necessary.
Incredibly, the competition received 1,570 entries from 67 countries. Mask Architects' design was one of 10 chosen. "Leafy" was another winning proposal that features similar shade structures inspired by plants.