Living in a desert, even one that happens to sit upon the coast, is an arid sort of existence. Even if you live in a desert city that actually maintains park spaces, spending time on the ever-dying grass will sap your energy just as fast as if you were sunbathing on a sand dune. Thankfully for the citizens of Abu Dhabi, a British designer has come up with an idea that will give them both shade and greenery in the middle of the desert.
Built to resemble a dry, cracked fissure in the earth, the park space is actually on two separate levels. A sand-colored canopy lends beautiful topside views to visitors while simultaneously creating precious shade for those below. Grasses, trees, brooks and a winding river populate the deceptively large lower level. Covering over 400,000 square feet, the green belt lies an impressive 65 feet below the canopy.
Designer Thomas Heatherwick also plans on outfitting the park with a public library, an outdoor cinema and a mosque. Construction is slated to begin this year, with the park due to open by 2017. If you find yourself in the United Arab Emirates around then, don't be fooled: this oasis won't be the mirage in the middle of the desert you keep hearing about.