For residents of towering urban apartment buildings, it’s not always possible to have a beautiful view and an outdoor terrace – or is it? Barcelona-based Nabito Architects have produced a design that would do just that for each and every occupant of the building. ‘A Desert Green’ looks like a spiral staircase to heaven, and its unique layout gives urbanites all the perks of suburban living in the heart of the city.
Winner of the Total Housing Competition in Abu Dhabi, A Desert Green places an apartment on each ‘step’ in the spiral, with communal facilities and public spaces every few floors, giving residents an intimate sense of community while maintaining their own private backyards. Each terrace, which rests upon the roof of the apartment on the next floor down, is rimmed with a transparent wall for unobstructed views.
The architects describe them as ‘high density cottages’ that focus on ‘individual needs in a collective whole’. Suburban sprawl is a big environmental problem, pressing ever further into wildlife habitats and throwing entire ecosystems out of balance. But not everyone wants to live in a constricted urban dwelling with limited access to private outdoor areas.
“The STAIRscraper is a superposition of individual singular garden houses with the same characteristic of the horizontal sprawl but liberating the land and concentrating the uses and the energy,” say the architects.