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TwoFour54

CREATIVE

ECOLOGY

Designers and scientists from Yale CEA developed a concept for SOM's TwoFour54 competition entry showing district-scale ecosystemic resiliency.

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 2013

team

collaborators

selected

publications

partners

Anna Dyson (CASE), Aybars Acsi (SOM), Enoka Strait (SOM), Jason Vollen, Bess Krietemeyer, Kristin Malone, Keith Van der Riet, Nick Novelli

Industry: HeliOptix LLC

TwoFour54

Image: Two Four54, Creative Ecology Design Strategy

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how can we design an innovative, future-thinking built ecosystem?

team

Anna Dyson (CASE), Aybars Acsi (SOM), Enoka Strait (SOM), Jason Vollen, Bess Krietemeyer, Kristin Malone, Keith Van der Riet, Nick Novelli

collaborators

Industry: HeliOptix LLC

selected publications

Rather than predetermined building forms, the scheme favors a ‘bottom-up’ design approach, where the components and their relationship to each other shape the environment. This allows for a place that invites the occupants to modify their spaces, allowing for an ever-changing character, which will evolve and continue to redefine it over time.  


Catenoid, a minimal surface made by rotating a catenary curve, is the infrastructural integer of the design. Its form is developed to have multiple functions; as solar umbrellas sheltering the entire site; as mega columns suspending the floor plates; and as cores housing building services. The location of each catenoid is calibrated to avoid interfering with the long-span structures of the studios and the pathways and roads that run through the site. Even though, visually each catenoid looks different, geometrically, they are identical to allow for ease of construction. The difference in their final form is the result of the trimming operation applied to the identical base geometry. The buildings suspended in between the catenoids offer column-free flexible floor plates.  


The scheme follows the program allocations of the Master Plan. The mix of the sound stage sizes is designed to support many different types of production needs, including a 2,700 SM film studio. The modular design approach of the studios will allow them to be re-configured in the simplest possible ways to accommodate the most specific of production needs. The project is designed to be a state-of-the-art facility, with efficient support facilities that allow for direct access to studios for ease of load-in and set staging, the correct relationship of studios and greenrooms, wardrobe and makeup, sophisticated control rooms, and the properly sized and designed post-production suites. 

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The Digital Media City scheme in Abu Dhabi, is conceived as a Media Entertainment that is creative, innovative, futuristic, and sustainable. The site is transformed into an ecosystem that supports; habitation of creative spaces; connectivity between various program components at different levels; and flexibility to change and growth. Akin to the richness of life underneath the rainforest canopies, the scheme offers sectional diversity for strata to have different environmental and spatial characters. This diversity is the catalyst to an inspiring place for creative media minds. 

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