A City Rises In The Desert

About 12 miles southeast of Abu Dhabi a brand new city is being built in the desert. Parks, schools, office parks and 349 residence towers will occupy an area of 17 square miles that is being called Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ) City, named after the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates. Eventually, 85,000 people will call MBZ City home.

Lorenc+Yoo Design was retained by EDSA and KEO of Abu Dhabi to develop an integrated wayfinding and identification program for MBZ City, including area gateways, bus shelters, and directional signs. The challenge is to integrate this new wayfinding system into the predefined streetscape design by adopting local materials and colors in modern ways.

Making use of the rhythm of the light poles, LYD attached decorative and informational elements to identify and direct visitors and residents alike. They contribute to creating a memorable and distinct sense of place within the five distinct developments that constitute MBZ City.

Partnering with EDSA, LYD developed design standards that will guide development into the future. The standards establish the city’s unique brand and present a unified visual language for the street network. The system is resilient and easily maintained due to the kit of parts LYD developed.

Mohammed bin Zayed City is already open for business, and, like any dynamic city, will continue to evolve. LYD is proud to have had a part in setting the stage for this new desert oasis to grow and prosper.

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