Architecture

The roof of Abu Dhabi Central Market can now be closed to keep it cool

The roof of Abu Dhabi Central ...
The newly-refurbished Abu Dhabi Central Market can be enclosed when it's hot outside, to better control the internal temperature (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
The newly-refurbished Abu Dhabi Central Market can be enclosed when it's hot outside, to better control the internal temperature (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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The newly-refurbished Abu Dhabi Central Market can be enclosed when it's hot outside, to better control the internal temperature (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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The newly-refurbished Abu Dhabi Central Market can be enclosed when it's hot outside, to better control the internal temperature (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
An internal walkway of the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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An internal walkway of the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
Patterned façades provide shade for the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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Patterned façades provide shade for the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
The Abu Dhabi Central Market is split across multiple levels (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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The Abu Dhabi Central Market is split across multiple levels (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
The Abu Dhabi Central Market comprises alleyways, routes and squares, like a traditional market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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The Abu Dhabi Central Market comprises alleyways, routes and squares, like a traditional market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
An open space in the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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An open space in the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
Shade provided by the patterned façade of the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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Shade provided by the patterned façade of the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
The perforations in the roof and interior panels of the Abu Dhabi Central Market are a pattern developed with a scholar of Islamic arts (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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The perforations in the roof and interior panels of the Abu Dhabi Central Market are a pattern developed with a scholar of Islamic arts (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
One of the "squares" in the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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One of the "squares" in the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
The Abu Dhabi Central Market is aimed at being a "modern version of the souk" (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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The Abu Dhabi Central Market is aimed at being a "modern version of the souk" (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
The Abu Dhabi Central Market is aimed at being a "reinterpretation of the traditional marketplace" (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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The Abu Dhabi Central Market is aimed at being a "reinterpretation of the traditional marketplace" (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
An open space in the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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An open space in the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
Roof panels can slide closed in order make the temperature in the Abu Dhabi Central Market more controllable (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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Roof panels can slide closed in order make the temperature in the Abu Dhabi Central Market more controllable (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
The patterned façade of the Abu Dhabi Central Market provides some shade whilst letting light through (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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The patterned façade of the Abu Dhabi Central Market provides some shade whilst letting light through (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
The patterned interior panels of the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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The patterned interior panels of the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
Stained glass at the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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Stained glass at the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
A stained glass entrance at the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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A stained glass entrance at the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
The patterned interior of the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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The patterned interior of the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
Patterned paneling at the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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Patterned paneling at the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
The souk influence is drawn in the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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The souk influence is drawn in the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
The high ceilings of the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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The high ceilings of the Abu Dhabi Central Market (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
The Abu Dhabi Central Market was designed by Foster + Partners (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
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The Abu Dhabi Central Market was designed by Foster + Partners (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)

During Abu Dhabi's winter, temperatures drop to around a comfortable 24º C (75º F) in the daytime. In summer, however, they can get close to 50º C (122º F). To combat the sweltering heat, Abu Dhabi's open air market can now close its roof.

The newly-refurbished Abu Dhabi Central Market was designed by Foster + Partners. It is one of two public spaces in Abu Dhabi that have been designed by UK architects, the other being Thomas Heatherwick's Al Fayah public park. Like Al Fayah, the Central Market design seeks to help keep visitors cool when the temperature begins to rise.

The market sits on the site of the original commercial district and is aimed at being a "modern version of the souk [a Middle Eastern open-air market]" and a "reinterpretation of the traditional marketplace." It is a multipurpose development and, in addition to retail, will cater for residential, hospitality and commercial functions.

The Abu Dhabi Central Market is aimed at being a "modern version of the souk" (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
The Abu Dhabi Central Market is aimed at being a "modern version of the souk" (Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)

The market comprises an open-air system of of alleyways, routes and squares, as is the case with traditional markets. During the cooler period of the year, these are able to stay cool naturally. When the summer season comes round, however, it is possible to enclose the market and control the temperature internally.

Roof panels are used to help seal the environment from the searing outdoor heat. These can be slid into place and can be used in conjunction with internal sliding wall panels. In this way, the environment can be shaped and changed depending on how it is most easily kept cool. In addition to the retractable paneling, patterned façades help to shade the interior, whilst still allowing natural light inside.

Source: Foster + Partners

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