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Marina Abu Dhabi

Marina and Public Realm, 2016

Architect: Tonkin Liu
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Marina Abu Dhabi is both very ancient and very modern. It can be read at both the scale of the city and the scale of the individual person. Composed of a city square for boating, a circle lagoon for living, and a triangular beach for leisure, its beauty lies in its conceptual clarity. The geometry establishes order, mediating the land and sea, visible from the sky.

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The strong form in plan is tempered by a soft adaptive architecture. It undulates like a mountain-scape, rising and falling to open up to the city blocks beyond. Stepped in plan and stepped in section, stepping in and out, up and down, back and forth.

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The terraced buildings make a patchwork pattern that modulates light and shade, and shares views. The scale shifts between the boat, the car, the house, and the apartment block. The buildings become a layered backdrop for the multiple activities that unfold in front of them.

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