Despite widespread criticism leveled at its organizers (which has simmered down since reaching its zenith with a New York Times article earlier this year), the Masdar City project plods on. Still in the midst of the first building phase of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST), The National reports that phase two broke ground last Friday.
Designed in tandem with the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT – which has since distanced itself from Abu Dhabi), MIST is a research facility attended by bright students from around the world. One American student joked that she was living on a distant planet, understandable given the harsh terrain in which she found herself. But students will receive a reprieve from the heat when phase two of the building project is complete.
MIST’s first phase consists of 43,000 square meters and is expected to finish by 2012. The second phase will add 82,000 further square meters of lodging, laboratories, conference facilities, a gym, and a swimming pool to the existing research facility.
At the heart of Masdar City, that mythological carbon-free castle in Abu Dhabi’s clouds, the academic wing of the construction project is being carried out by Arabian Construction Company and managed by the developer, Alder.
Similar to existing structures, the latter half of MIST’s buildings will incorporate energy-saving and passive cooling design such as shaded streets, natural ventilation, and heat deflecting facades.
Also, in an uncharacteristic move, Masdar City Director Alan Frost told the paper that they expect the first phase of Masdar City to be completed in 2015. This after taking a decidedly silent stance on the issue after a series of embarassing setbacks.
When that phase is complete, 8,000 residents and 10,000 workers, down from the 90,000 estimate for 2016, will call the mothership home.
:: The National
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image via The New York Times