As hosts of the World Expo 2020, Dubai has determined to transform the site of the event following the proceedings into a vital part of the city, a live-work-play district targeting the young and the entrepreneurial with a focus on innovation, sustainability and community. OverUnder was chosen to lead a team to prepare comprehensive design guidelines for the District 2020 Master plan, to be issued to third party developers as part of the master developer controls for the project.
An iterative process led to a set of guidelines that prioritized minimal control for maximal effect, granting District 2020 a distinct character while allowing flexibility for the development to flourish naturally. With only 25 controls, the guidelines cover everything from massing and shading requirements to recommended materials and privately-owned open space.
Through a clear set of graphics and renderings, the team set both the tone and the regulations intended to guide future growth. By developing a number of measurable, performance driven criteria, the document ensures that future architectural projects will enhance the District’s legibility, walkability and sustainability.
Without dictating a specific architectural language, a series of tactics were laid out to provide a cohesive fabric, rather than a series of individual icons. The architectural elements of greatest concern here are those that interface with and have the largest impact on the public realm. Special attention has therefore been given to the ground floor and the facade.