Wood in architecture
|| United Arab Emirates
Located in the heart of the Zayed University campus in Abu Dhabi, the new Campus Library was designed by Hadi Teherani, an internationally renowned architect from Germany. Construction of the new facility took over seven months to complete and has been widely received and praised by both students and staff as an attractive and very endearing venue for research and reading. AHK Interiors, a leading interior design, project design and management firm was awarded the joinery works for the new Abu Dhabi campus and signed an AED 15 million (USD 4 million) contract with Al Habtoor Murray and Roberts Venture.
The contract included the construction and implementation of fixed joinery, general cupboards, feature glass walls, timber floors and radial shelving. The new Zayed Campus Library, which is one of the largest university libraries in the Middle East, measures approximately 40,000 square metres and is part of the 28 new buildings that have been completed for the new campus inside Khalifa City. Particular focus was given to the new library, which is the university’s premier learning resource facility for both students and faculty. The library, which has been valued at over AED 3 billion, takes on a circular arena-like setting and houses around 150,000 books from the Zayed Library collection. The architects founded their design on traditional amphitheatres, so students can sit around a circular based theatre while the teacher can lecture from the centre. AHK Interiors specified American walnut throughout the whole library from the library’s flooring and bookshelves, to the wall featured wood cladding. Walnut was chosen for its dark earthy colour and strong aesthetic presence. The AHK design team was asked to present the library in such a way that it showcased a joint-less veneer appearance, highlighting the continuous flow of the natural grain of American walnut. “We had chosen to use American walnut across the whole library because of its strong characteristics, including its straight grained appearance and its durability, being highly resistant to heartwood decay.
Architects: AHK Interiors
Photography: © AHEC