The Mina Zayed Waterfront Pier (MZW), located at the east end of Abu Dhabi's famed Corniche, will be a milestone project for the UAE. Conceived of as a fully integrated mixed-use district, MZW is tied together by a series of pedestrian-oriented public spaces and a world-class waterfront promenade. The proposed MGM Hotel Complex anchors the west end of MZW and overlooks Abu Dhabi City, Lulu Island, and the Arabian Gulf, while Sasaki's plan for the middle blocks of the development combines three hotels, meeting and ballroom facilities, retail space, and residential apartments into a powerful, iconic district. The project is integrated seamlessly with existing and proposed downtown neighborhoods through expanded transit and transportation networks. MZW will serve to regenerate a key growth area of the city and fulfill the vision of creating a sustainable, human-scaled development in line with the philosophy set forth in Plan Abu Dhabi 2030.
Sasaki's master plan capitalizes on views both to and from the pier, taking advantage of the site's critical waterfront position, and creates a dynamic and varied skyline for Abu Dhabi with a mix of landmark buildings and urban forms. The plan delineates a diverse massing effect that steps comfortably down towards the water. A continuous public waterfront extends the Corniche around the MZW pier. A series of north-south public spaces across MZW connect the north and south coves. The plan provides a series of at-grade, human-scaled blocks with clear entries and access, as well as a pedestrian-oriented street network that encourages walking and public activity. Appropriate ground level retail and food and beverage uses activate street life and public transportation is integrated via the new 18th Street tram.
The tram links Mina Zayed to the proposed multi-modal transit facility. Visitors arriving by tram disembark at the proposed Transit Plaza and are then easily guided to points north and south along the pier promenade. A community park beckons visitors into the neighborhood. A new central boulevard forms the main spine of the project. As a well-defined street with generous pedestrian ways edged by retail and lobbies, the central boulevard offers a clear vehicular entrance and welcoming pedestrian environment. The central park is the prime public space amenity within MZW. The park is a fully accessible and dynamic attraction for residents and visitors alike. In the north quadrant of the park, retail pavilions are situated to take advantage of the residential uses and nearby community yacht club. A local mosque—envisioned as part Islamic awareness center—is featured within the southern quadrant. A performance space terminates the south end of the park and connects to the south cove. This plaza engages with the water and will be a unique public landmark for Abu Dhabi. In front of a welcome center at the south cove, a dhow exhibit celebrates the heritage of the existing pier, long used as a staging and harbor area for the dhow fishing boats.
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