This new business district offers an alternative to the traditional skyscraper with a ‘micro city’ of ten office buildings with residential space at the top and restaurants and shops at street level. These mixed uses are combined with the tight streets, courtyards and fountains of historic Arab towns and with traditional passive cooling devices such as deeply recessed windows and mashrabiyya screens. While the density of the plan means that the buildings shade each other, a modular grid pattern encourages wind movement. As a result, people are able to walk about outside even in the hot summer months, creating a vibrant, human-scaled urban environment.
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture, 2011.