Pumpkin explores solutions for insulation and sustainability from the arctic to the desert

Nordic design comes to Dubai as Pumpkin explore solutions for insulation and sustainability – transferring them from the edge of the Arctic Circle to the desert

The climate of Dubai and that of the Scandinavian countries of Europe are not natural environments which immediately seem to have very much in common.

But Pumpkin Architectural Design has incorporated many facets of homes common to Norway, Sweden and Denmark in its latest residential project for the city.

And while hot and cold are, literally, polar opposites very similar design solutions were incorporated into the concept to provide a sustainable, energy efficient and stylish residence. “The client was looking for something fresh – not completely out-of-the-box, but a little different,” said the company’s partner Andrew Hughes.

“So we looked to a place where we had undertaken projects in the past – Scandinavia. The straight parallel lines and sleek and smart design appealed to us and the client. In northern Europe the focus is all about energy saving by keeping the heat inside. In Dubai the opposite is true, it’s the cool air that needs to be kept inside – a complete flip.”

But he said insulation is the key to succeeding in both aims as it works both ways. So what appears to be two different goals can be reached in similar ways.

The Pumpkin-designed five-bedroom villa features exterior walls cladded with light birch woods to give a warm and natural feel. The theme carries on inside with wooden floors, stairs and banisters.

To provide a contrast, black marble is also a feature of the home including being laid around the main entrance. The interior is open plan – again a reflection of the Nordic influence – while minimalist-designed staircases lead to the bedrooms and an office space and area visible from the exterior. The basement houses an entertainment area which includes a home-cinema.

Hughes said: “We did a lot of mapping of the sun to ensure optimum shading and also made sure that all the construction materials would prevent leakage of the inside air.”

A pool at the rear of the building is positioned to capture the afternoon sun and reduce reflection of solar rays onto the house. A U-shaped courtyard is designed to provide a seamless transition from the interior of the house to the pool and majlis, or communal area which is subtley lighted to enhance the ambiance and mood of the building.

Hughes added: “Dubai has a mish-mash of design styles so almost anything is possible. We chose Scandinavian influences.”