XERITOWN – Dubai, U.A.E.

Xeritown is an urban development for about 7,000 residents in Dubailand. It pioneers sustainability and adaptability within the problematic framework of the Emirates. It develops a “contemporary vernacular” approach by taking the local climate and landscape as a context within which the urban form emerges and public space is anchored. It conceptualizes the built environment as a means for local climate modification by engaging the free work of natural forces. The project prioritizes passive measures such as minimizing solar gains and enhancing natural ventilation. Additionally, easy access to public transport and shaded pedestrian and cycling networks reduce carbon emissions, and technical measures such as graywater recycling for irrigation and LED lighting complement resource conservation. Active renewable energy plays a minor role, but is particularly visible in the public space of the development: photovoltaic panels are grouped together into shading canopies for the walkways.


Project type: Master plan
Dubai, U.A.E.
Dubai Properties, United Arab EmiratesDesign team:
SMAQ – architecture urbanism research: Sabine Müller, Andreas Quednau with Joachim Schultz, Team: Therese Granberg, Ludovica Rogers, Felipe Flores, Kathrin Löer, Valle Medina, Martino Sacchi

In collaboration with:
X-Architects (Dubai), Johannes Grothaus Landscape Architects (Potsdam/Dubai), Reflexion (Zurich)
Buro Happold (London/Dubai)
Site area:
59 ha
Gross floor area: 486,000 m
Holcim Award 2008 for Sustainable Construction (Regional Acknowledgement Prize), Cityscape Architectural Awards 2008

sustainability, projects, urbanism