Its fractal geometry explores the design possibilities of two rotated squares, a recurring traditional device and motif in Islamic art. Seven building clusters and an entry are located at the points of the underlying geometry, and the clusters and their internal structure repeat the 8-point geometry. Clusters have a base that varies from 6 and 11 floors, and are anchored by courts and by taller buildings that vary from 15 to 38 floors.
Overlaid on the traditional geometry is modern architecture that is interpretive and varied, and that deals with climate and the creation of an indigenous desert aesthetic by again observing traditional lessons and principles. Mud walls and small openings are replaced by buildings wrapped with an exterior ‘shell’ of deep-set modular masonry panels. And traditional inner courtyards are replaced by shaded interior ‘canyons’ that allow inner skins of glass. And roof shading and traditional convection cooling reduce ambient temperatures by 10 to 12 degrees, thereby eliminating the wasteful and air- conditioning of public spaces. All roofs are designed to maximize their solar energy potential.
The program includes office, hotel, apartments, serviced apartments, and the full range of facilities required to self-sustain a resident community of 15,000.