As Associate Partner for Sheppard Robson, Ben designed and developed proposals for three different designs for three different plan forms for the residential area of Bluewater Island in Abu Dhabi.

Scheme one design consists of an inner highly-insulated, airtight facade designed to reduce thermal conductivity is shaded by deep balconies minimizing solar gain while maximising daylighting and views from the apartments. The balconies are formed by extending the floor slabs in and out, allowing views from external spaces further away from the sea front. Articulated twisting spandrels give an undulating appearance to the façade which becomes more abstract when seen from directly below.

Scheme two has been conceived from the basic principle of combining two elements: an internal sealed box of accommodation and deep articulated balconies for shading and views. In this proposal, the balconies are treated as a series of clips that slide along the façade. Balconies are formed by extending the floor slabs in and out and are articulated both in form and materiality to express the accommodation in each apartment. Living areas are expressed to offer a degree of legibility to the design

Scheme three aims to offer a simple and modular approach to the residential apartment design at Bluewater. Conceptually all building types are composed of a combination of a single 27m x 19m floorplate which has been rotated on alternating floors. This stack of accommodation is served by a single central core and allows for many various configurations of internal layouts. The simple rotation of the floors creates alternating external balconies which are created on the roof of the floor below. The external space is naturally shaded by the cantilevering accommodation above. This design solution is inherently flexible and designed to maximise privacy and self-shading of external spaces.


Client: Meraas Holdings (invited competition)
Area: 275,000m2