Exclusive Architecture Advanced Construction Method
BRIEF DESIGN REPORT

The architectural concept of Oubah-Ville derives from Greenwich property developer’s aspiration of creating a carbon-free and family friendly suburban neighbourhood. This futuristic idea of having an environment and family friendly housing is strongly depicted both at the neighbourhood and at individual building levels. The conceptual design invokes the characteristics of natural elements, such as flowers. The flower metaphor is used in some of the buildings that are amenable to organic layouts. At the neighbourhood level greeneries, parks, pedestrian and bicycle lanes are given strong focus.

The neighbourhood land use can generally be grouped into that of apartment buildings (100 in number), service facilities, sites for solar and wind energy technology, a golf course and waste management area. The apartment buildings are of two types: type-A and type-B. The service facilities include: a school, a medical centre, a sports centre, a supermarket, a gas station, retail outlets an administrative centre and a football field. The golf course includes a club house with a restaurant, a spa and other club facilities.

Djibouti has a hot and humid climate. Thus shade and shadow, rather than direct sun exposure is required. In order to achieve this protruding and recessing volumes, highly stretched horizontal sun breakers, pergolas, window screens, diagonally slanted facades are used in the design of individual buildings when ever appropriate. For shading devices, apartment type-A uses protruding and recessing volumes with deep balconies and pergolas. It also has a curved roof serving as a shading device while covering the roof terrace. Apartment type-B and the golf club house make use of protruding horizontal sun breakers and slanted external walls. The hospital makes extensive use of widow screen which is commonly known as “mashurabia”. The administrative centre and sports centre are designed with inverted suspension structure that also serves as a shading device. The rest of the buildings are designed with horizontal sun breakers. At the neighbourhood level the buildings are clustered in a “U”-shaped layouts in order to create shaded courts. The overall site is dominated by greeneries and trees that will cast shadows and create a pleasant eco-system.

The apartment buildings, each containing 16 units, are organized in a cluster of three. Each building has a communal swimming pool, 32 car parking spaces (two for each unit), spacious communal children play ground and bicycle parking area. Each of the apartment unit will be fitted with the state of the art entertainment system including high speed internet and satellite system. A thermal technology will be utilized in order to reduce the usage of air conditioning system. At the neighbourhood level there is a central park and linear greeneries that buffer bicycle and pedestrian walk ways.

Access to motorized vehicles is limited to a loop that feeds each cluster. The loop has pedestrian, bicycle and car lanes each separated with linear greeneries. The fact that each apartment building enjoys children play ground, swimming pool and buffered bicycle lanes and pedestrian walk ways makes the neighbourhood family-friendly. The neighbourhood is also facilitated by the existence of functions that are grouped around linear and circular courts. Among others, these functions include a school, a medical centre and sports centre with an outdoor football field. To give the neighbourhood a sense of identity and character a land mark is designed and located just in front of the administrative building. The character of the neighbourhood also owes to the flower metaphor of some of the buildings. However, for dominantly functional buildings such as the hospital, the supermarket and the petrol station rectilinear forms are used in such a way that contrasts the curvilinear buildings of the sport centre, apartment type-B and the golf club. The combination of the more organic curvilinear forms and the rectangular forms is done deliberately in order to create contrast and achieve a complementarity effect.









ADVANCE CONSTRUCTION METHOD

Precast double wall technology will be used for Oubah Ville construction project. The Europeans have been producing double-wall panels for almost twenty years. The proven performance of this innovative building system in countries throughout Europe is well documented. The strength and quality of the finished double-wall product is unrivaled within the building market in the World today. The combination of concrete (for strength & safety) and insulation (for energy-efficiency), as combined within the Precast double-wall concrete sandwich panel system, guarantees the best possible building structure. State-of-the-art materials and methodologies produce a finished floor and wall panel system that ensures safety from fires and storms provides sounds insulation, comfort, has a strong visual appeal, utilises a variety of textures & finishes, which generates tremendous energy savings. Double-wall panels are easily designed to handle both the structural requirements for strength and safety, as well as the aesthetic and sound attenuation qualities. Speed of construction, durability of finished structure and energy-efficiency are all hallmarks of a building that utilizes the double-wall system.
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Oubah-Ville painting by artist Assefa G.Kidan
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