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Aqua Theme Park

maisam architects & engineers as Architects

West of the Corniche Road in the Ras Al Khadra area on the west shores of the Abu Dhabi island, sits the luxurious and extravagant Emirates Palace hotel. At an exquisite location where the white shores of the Abu Dhabi island meet the deep blue waters of the Arab Gulf, the Emirates Palace Hotel intends to develop a pioneering leisure landmark waterpark within the limits of its 84,000 m² plot, setting up a destination stage for visitors from the UAE, the gulf regions and from around the world. Water appears naturally in the dry desert of Abu Dhabi in the form of oases and springs, where rising pressure forces the water above ground. Water also appears in the form of Sabkhas, flat crusty areas that form when sea water evaporates from shallow water tables. The Aqua Theme Park is inspired by the contrast between the natural springs and oases vs. the man-made water systems like Al-Falaj; both of which are achieved by pressure transporting water above ground. The Aqua Park not only encompasses state of the art water games and slides, but also establishes itself as a serene oasis spa with a landmark sea fountain that shoots sea water high up in the skies providing a playful addition to the skyline of the city. The design is interpreted into two contrasting architectural elements. First, inspired by nature, a shell-like structure is introduced to mimic a sand dune in the desert of Abu Dhabi. This dune structure is then cracked in half to reveal the wet water park area, inspired by the man-made Al-Falaj system. The water area is rigid and rectilinear, following a structured grid. The wet area splits the sand dune structure in half, creating two separate enclosures on either side. On one side the dune encloses restaurants, cafes and services while the other smaller dune encloses the spa area. Free in form, the dune-like structures are inspired by the fluidity of the natural vs. the rigidity of the man-made.

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