30 Projects from 30 Years: Yas Island Welcome Pavilion and Mall

October 25, 2017

What is most fascinating about Yas Island is the sheer size and scale of the developments on this man-made island in the United Arab Emirates. Nestled between Ferrari World Abu Dhabi (the world’s largest indoor theme park) and Yas Mall (with its 2.5 million square feet), rests the Welcome Pavilion Fountain that Aquatic Design & Engineering (ADE) created in 2009.

As one of the largest show fountains we had designed, this feature still boasts some impressive numbers: 500 programmable nozzles and 2,000 color-changing LED lights. But what is unseen below the surface is the engineering marvel. To hold the massive volume of water that gets recirculated as it cascades down from one weir edge to the next, the structure would have required an exorbitant number of large pipes. Instead, our engineering team designed a cavern system underneath the entire length of the feature made up of waterproofed chambers that empties one into the other. On the surface, the fountain is a beautiful spectacle to behold with its fully-choreographed jets that provide chasing and racing effects in time to music. But below the water, it was an even bigger engineering achievement to undertake.

Likewise, a year later when we were brought on to the adjacent development project, Yas Mall, we had the opportunity to get creative with the design of a unique indoor water feature as well as solve some considerable engineering challenges for a long outdoor reflecting pond. Inside the mall, we created a circular water feature that performs as a centralized “clock” with nozzles that shoot small droplets of water each second as would a ticking second hand. The round clock face can display light patterns in a dazzling show every quarter hour as the pop jets spurt water in time. The clock and some of the other water features add a unique style to the mall’s interior, while the exterior of the mall is dominated by a series of long pools that lead up to the entrance. Spanning 385 feet in length, these features posed the engineering challenges with the run of pipes needed to supply the pools as well as an uphill grading issue that our team at ADE solved. Once again, the size of the features necessitated some heavy-duty equipment. For this job, we installed one of the largest pumps we’ve ever deployed; one that dwarfed our employees on-site. For our water features at Yas Mall, we were proud to see the end result of an engaging fountain and a well-engineered entryway feature.

For more on ADE’s water features at Yas Mall, we invite you to read an article from ADE’s president, Josh Martin, published on Watershapes.com.