high tech - low tech _ POWERPARK
POWERPARK @ Bab al Bahrain
Project title: high tech - low tech _ POWERPARK @ Bab al Bahrain
Published: Manama Capital of Arab Culture 2012; Competition BAB
PowerPark is the strategic centre of the city.
A place where essential and traditional parts of the city meet, it forms a visionary space connecting and supporting the surroundings.
PowerPark is an invitation.
Seen from the highway, the PowerPark forms the gateway to Manama. The area under the roof can be utilised for official ceremonies or drive down to the next level into the most beautiful parking garage based on a traditional „low tech“ ventilation system, which cools not only the garage but also the overhead central Square. The Square is framed by solar panels (PV) providing shade for the underlying arcades.
PowerPark is an Energy Park.
It creates electricity for the city using sun and wind via approx. 20.000m² or 6500 solar panels and circa 350 horizontal wind turbines located above. The cooling and ventilation system of the PowerPark itself is developed from traditional and local techniques and creates a special climate zone within the urban garden.
Power Park forms a cool urban oasis.
Palm trees, shade, arcades, water and air fountains (individually decorated domes cutting through the softly curved paved ground), with slight dunes and pools, form the design of the Square.
PowerPark is Infrastructure.
The central Square and its arcades host a fundamental part of the city (a central carpark and an open Square with arcades and gardens), as well as special facilities such as the Post Office, the Children’s Museum and the National Archives.
PowerPark is a connecting point.
A place where the old and new cities can come together and support each other. A wide ramp over the highway connects the Square with the green Beach Park and seaside, the Financial Harbour with the Souk. The roof acts as a Gateway to the City with the Bab al Bahrain. The traditional meaning of Bab al Bahrain is positively strengthened but kept in its historic form. The traditional Square with its roundabout assumes a much more symbolic function and is also visually enhanced by the new facade of the PowerPark and Post Office with its overhead Tea Terrace, thus becoming part of the historic ensemble of the Bab al Bahrain Square and 20th century architecture.
PowerPark transforms the local architecture as well as combining traditional ventilation techniques with technical environmental possibilities of the 21st century. Incorporating a wind tower as a horizontal electricity turbine with a turbotube column, and the ‘solar panel roof’ as a windcatcher. In addition, a quanat system with domes as ventilated parking space cooling the Square.
PowerPark is open to everybody –
from children to intellectuals, small commercial vendors to visitors of the Tea Terrace, traditional traders of the Souk to the managers of the Financial Harbour, local inhabitants to international tourists. The architectural design of the PowerPark frames all kind of actions of society at the central Square and provides shade for the arcades. It represents the city literally and visually. PowerPark acts as the House and Garden of the City.
PowerPark is a meeting point.
Either informally at a facility - at the entrance of the Children’s Museum, Post Office, etc., a situation - such as the green palm tree oasis, the water and air fountains, the arcades, or exclusively at the ‘Tea Terrace’ with the perfect view of Bab al Bahrain and the PowerPark.