Setting a global standard for mixed-use – CRTKL shares design secrets from Saadiyat Grove

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  • The making of a world-class mixed-use community – how the region’s leading design firm reshaped the urban fabric of Saadiyat Island and created a landmark cultural district
  • When art meets architecture – how Saadiyat Grove turned three of the world’s most famous museums into a sustainable mixed-use neighborhood

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: CRTKL, a global cultural agency specializing in architecture, planning and design, is proving the value of performance driven design at Saadiyat Grove – the mixed-use neighborhood taking shape on the shorelines of Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island. 

Stitching together the urban fabric around Abu Dhabi’s Louvre and Guggenheim and the Zayed National Museum, CRTKL has created a unique mixed-use development that brings forward a more sustainable and successful solution to the integrated live, work, play, shop, stay model. 

Once completed, Saadiyat Grove will feature 60,000 square meters of retail, entertainment and leisure spaces, and will have approximately 3,000 homes, two hotels and co-working spaces for new enterprises and start-ups.

Geoff Ford, Associate Principal at CRTKL said: “Saadiyat Grove is a testament to the shared vision of CRTKL and Aldar Properties, together we have been able to set a new benchmark for mixed-use design and development. With community and culture at its core, Saadiyat Grove exemplifies the modern lifestyle and points to the future of residential, retail and entertainment environments.”

“Driven by Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles, we advance upon the 15-minute city concept at Saadiyat Grove with a heightened pedestrian experience that we have enabled year-round with low carbon solutions and passive strategies that combat the urban heat island effect.”

“This is a proud moment for us and an important step toward better outcomes in our built environment that more positively impact both our people and planet.” 

Key aspects of Saadiyat Grove include:

Intelligent urban design

Saadiyat Grove has a layered community design. With inspiration drawn from traditional, urban design principles – the streets and squares have been organized in a city-layering plan across multiple levels. It places food and beverage outlets at the street level, retail at street and first level, and the views of the museum from all levels. The residential and office buildings rise above for clear views across the community and to the shorelines and edges of the development to the museums. Saadiyat Grove has been designed for visitors and residents, providing unique experiences and maximizing the immersive opportunities in the culture and art of the museums themselves.

Multi-modal connectivity 

Facilitating travel throughout the vast area of the island, several modes of transport can be used such as motorized bikes, Segways, shuttle busses, and personal rapid transit which are autonomous cars operating on fixed infrastructures. Shaded walkways are spread out across The Grove for more leisurely walks. The forms and districts inspired by the iconic cultural houses merge smoothly at the central plaza or Grove Town square. The skylight concept has been integrated throughout the development and especially along the viewing corridors for ambience and convenience to walk outdoors during anytime of the day or night, all year round, in any temperature. 

Cultural and community connection

The Grove is an authentic cultural district that complements and enriches three world-class museums and architectural wonders. The connective fabric creates spaces where culture can thrive with memorable moments for residents and visitors of all ages, in a well-connected community.

Sophisticated retail, leisure and entertainment mix

The retail district at The Grove is an urban quarter, comprising of a constantly evolving space that is always on-trend. It is a flexible space, meant to generate change, incubate ideas and evolve the neighborhood. It consists of a sophisticated, minimalist lifestyle focused zone that promotes entertainment and activities for families in a space that embraces the outdoors. 

CRTKL

CRTKL is a global architecture, planning, and design practice, that began over seven decades ago and has evolved into a cultural agency to advance positive outcomes in our communities. Focusing on People, Planet, Positive Design allows us to realize a climate-positive and equitable future; dedicated to inspiring experiences, human wellbeing, and socially responsible outcomes through research-empowered and data-driven design.