Gustafson Porter + Bowman

Gustafson Porter + Bowman

London, GB


Hili Archaelogical Park

This World Heritage site’s Bronze Age and Iron Age tombs, settlements and falaj (irrigation) systems are the earliest archaeological examples of oasis culture in southeast Arabia. Hili Archaeological Park aims to become a first rate heritage centre offering exceptional opportunities for education, culture and leisure, while also protecting and preserving the site’s fragile archaeology.

The three elements of the landscape masterplan progress from the urban and irrigated to replanted desert. A public park with shaded terraces crossed by water channels provides a range of community activities. Ticket-buying visitors travel by land train to the visitor centre surrounded by two paleolandscapes recreating Bronze and Iron-Age environments. Beyond this, the replanted desert preserves the site’s archaeological remains in a sustainable landscape which visitors can access using a network of trails.

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Status: Unbuilt
Location: Al Ain, AE
Firm Role: Landscape Architect
Additional Credits: Engineer: ARUP
Botanist: (and irrigation advice) Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Water Feature Specialist: Fountain Workshop
Local Architect: Rafik El Khoury
Local Engineer: Rafik El Khoury
Cost Consultant: Davis Langdon
Consultants: (Sustainability) Ramboll UK, (Soil restoration) Thomas Zink, (Soil scientist) Tim O'Hare, (Interpretation) Barker Langham, (Exhibition designers) Casson Mann