Designed by Vincent Callebaut Architects, the Solar Drop is a proposed aquatic complex that could be built on an artificial island in Abu Dhabi. The structure will maximize the magnificence of the exceptional artificial island on the Sea of Oman while reducing its environmental impact with the use of innovative energy generating and saving mechanisms. The project mainly consists of an enormous structural dome that spreads in the space taking the shape of a flower at the center of the island.
The flower further features two spiral domes, the with convex superior dome covered with 16 spirals of solar cells and the second concave dome covered with 16 vegetable spirals. The center of the spinning flower consists of panoramic Majlis. The heat of the project features mineral and aquatic agora to create a peaceful and fresh ambience to welcome visitors.
To better access to the location, the entire area is shaded from the sun allowing visitors to walk through roads with ease. Suites are designed as aquatic lodges build in close proximity of water. All the suites align themselves around a radical plan bound by an arc of a circle 350 meters in diameter. Apart from the floating suites, a new coral reef will also be cultivated by the aquatic gardeners.
Around the center of the flower are three thematic petals which group to perform the three main functions of the complex – the Majlis and its reception hall, the spa and thermal cure center, and the indoor/outdoor freshwater swimming pools. The overhanging petals provide shaded space for parking lots and central kitchens. Out of the three petals, the North Petal is the most shaded and hence provide space to the Majlis and the dining rooms. The South-East Petal shelters the freshwater swimming pool and the South-West Petal features Turkish baths, sauna, hammam and other spaces for relaxation.
Between these three petals which are made using steel and glass, three tropical oases come out to create shaded atmosphere for the visitors. These gardens also filter the water of the aquatic ponds by phyto-purification. The sustainably designed complex also integrates a variety of renewable energy generating systems to create a new emblem of sustainable development in Abu Dhabi. The structure consists of a 7500sqm of solar roof along with 2500sqm of plantations that absorb humidity from the air and cool the complex by evaporation. The structure, according to the architects, will be energy positive and hence generate more energy than it consumes.
All Images © Vincent Callebaut Architects