Al Furjan is a residential development near Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates currently being developed by Nakheel. The high-rise residential building is designed to provide accommodations for the affordable luxury market in an area where budget-conscious families are flocking to.

Architecture, Construction & Design Awards 2018
First Award | Category: Housing (More than 5 Floors) (Concept)

Architect: RAW-NYC Architects
Country: United Arab Emirates

With a limited project budget and an aggressive list of expectations set by the client, we explored new ways of creating affordable residential buildings without compromising design or quality.

THE WRAP is a unique response not only to the limited budget and the target market but also to the site challenges, as well as a guaranteed return on investment (ROI) for the investors. The current financial projection is at 8.3% annually with building design efficiency at 87%. This required cost analysis of the development to arrive at the optimal projected ROI giving the client confidence and security in a challenging market.

A total of 140 apartments with a mix of one bedroom, two bedroom and three bedroom apartments. This 21 story residential building has retail on the ground floor, one level of podium parking and one level of basement parking.

The WRAP being the main design feature of the project allowed us to maximize the use of outdoor space to create a whole new experience that defines the vision of this residential development. The WRAP starts at the podium level and wraps up to the fifth level providing homeowners a range of outdoor communal spaces to enjoy. It starts with the reflection fountain on the east side to the sunrise steps to the kids’ pool to sunset pool to the sunset steps to the sunset picnic to the healing garden to the sunrise picnic culminating in the Romeo & Juliet outdoor theater at the fifth level. Indoor amenities required by the client included a gym and a community center with outdoor areas with a kids’ playground, yoga grounds and an outdoor gym. The WRAP design combined with these indoor amenities offers generous communal spaces for residents to enjoy embracing a strong sense of community rarely achieved in affordable residential buildings.

The building mass is split and angled to face the open views on the north west side while overlooking the swimming pool located on the west side. All common areas enjoy natural light and views including the main corridor that is stepped in plan to break the long corridor typically associated with apartment buildings thus creating more privacy for apartments’ entrances. The three bedroom duplexes facing the south side overlook the healing garden on the south side at the podium level as well as the open green space on the south side of the plot.

We incorporated a myriad  of  passive sustainable  strategies. These  included passive cooling  systems like the  orientation of the massing and the facade, the use of cross ventilation, shaded  terraces and balconies with recessed  glazing to reduce solar gain on both the west and the east. The unique design of the balconies that alternates direction from one level to another gives the building its unique design expression on its exterior. The balconies are cleverly designed as one element combining the horizontal shading with the vertical shading forming a unified shading mechanism to block the direct sunlight reaching the indoor.

All  floras  will  be  native to the region and sourced locally.  The biodiversity amongst the  species  planted  will vary depending on the growth height of the plants. Landscaping  around  the  building  will  include the  indigenous Ghaf tree in light of their  cultural, aesthetical and ecological significance to the UAE. The use of vegetation and trees to cover the podium above the parking areas of the building helps not only to regulate temperature and serves to soften the hard surfaces but also  helps reduce the noise pollution and improves air quality.

Residents will be able to enjoy the lifestyle benefits of the purpose-driven green areas with unparalleled panoramic views of the sunrise and sunset from their balconies and from the community spaces provided.

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