ADEC Future Schools Programme, Abu Dhabi

Following an international design competition Broadway Malyan was invited by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) to develop a new school prototype as part of an ambitious plan to replace the Emirate’s aging schools. The firm successfully delivered twelve schools, each using the same design principles yet adapted to site, number of students and gender. The Mubarak Bin Mohammed School, a mixed school for 1,200 students in central Abu Dhabi, is the flagship project.

Flexibility was key and a central spine was developed which allows for the “plugging in” of new elements. This flexibility continues to the interior, which offers varying formal/informal learning spaces for different class sizes as well as shared spaces used by all age-groups, encouraging student interaction.

Controlling heat gain while maintaining sufficient levels of daylight was another major concern and a variety of solutions were utilised such as courtyards, skylights and alignment of buildings to avoid direct exposure to the sun. The most dramatic expression of these issues is the large, bright green, vertical louvres that face several elevations.

A green courtyard forms the heart of the scheme, allowing natural light into the science labs, while also encouraging outdoor lessons. A stand-alone installation in the courtyard known as the “Eco-Tree” is used as an external elevated science lab where students can learn about planting, harvesting and composting. The courtyard also actively demonstrates the school’s environmental credentials, being partially shaded by photovoltaic solar panels. The walls are broken up by ‘vertical gardens’, which soften the environment and help to provide clean air.


Client: Abu Dhabi Education Council
Location: Abu Dhabi
Size: 12 schools delivered 
Skills: Architecture, Sustainability, Landscape Architecture, Interior Design
Status: Completed

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