Town Square Dubai

Town Square Dubai

Location: Dubai, UAE

Client: Nshama

Size: 375 hectares

Status: under construction


A new town square for a development in Dubai will be an enclave of 10,000 people, and a community of such magnitude needs more than buildings of magnitude. It needs to be humanized and inspired, and that is the task of landscape.

We have an ambitious vision for the landscape of Town Square, and it is a vision that dates back almost 3000 years: to the moment when artisans of the Middle East first began weaving sensuous and colorful patterns into their rugs and created the tapestries of legend. Our vision for Town Square is just such a tapestry – made of landscape.

The tapestry begins at the perimeter where the Square meets the hot, arid desert, and the pattern proceeds inward toward the inner core, traversing a series of rings that grow more and lusher until we reach the heart of the enclave. At the outer edge, the landscape honors and integrates both the urban and the desert. Here we will use the living plant world of the arid desert to ease the transition.

As we move inward, the environment turns lush, dry vegetation gives way to a profusion of native and exotic tropical plants, eradicating the monotony that so often plagues planned communities. A phantasmagoria of foliage erupts; a global garden brought to the desert by way of plants from the Middle East, Asia, Australia, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil, Italy and Greece.

Finally, in an explosion of color, a central spine leads to the Town Square, the vibrant heart of the community. It is a spine of art and culture, because the heart of the community pulsates with nightlife and entertainment, world class shopping, a cinema lawn for movie nights, playgrounds for children and water, the elixir of arid desert environments. Water shimmers, shines, flows,

sprays, mists, and gushes here, in pools, fountains, jets and channels, to cool the burning air and soothe the ear. And beyond this vibrant hive of activity lie garden plazas, places of rest, tranquility and reflection, where neighbors can meet, strangers can cease being strangers and families can be families together.

The gridded lines of this tapestry are the sidewalks and streets, and the walkways here are not simply for circulation but for celebration. Woven through with foliage and flowers, shade and shadow and water, the walks and roadways of Town Square are corridors of delight. In a desert kingdom, pressing down on us with heat and inhospitable climate, we have created an oasis tapestry. It unites the natural realm with the built realm, brings cohesion yet diversity to the enclave and fulfills the mission of great urbanism: to create a place where surprise and serendipity live, and life occurs spontaneously and joyfully in a series of vital outdoor living rooms.