Following their success in an international design competition, the landscape architects of the Australian firm TCL Taylor.Cullity.Lethlean have developed two playgrounds in collaboration with the National Museum of Qatar: The 'Cave of Wonders' and the 'Adventure Ship', which is modelled to resemble a traditional Arab sailing ship. The adventure playgrounds as part of the museum grounds were opened in early 2020.
The climate in Doha is rather moderate in winter and invites you to stay outside. In summer, however, it is very hot for long periods of time and the humidity varies from very dry to extremely humid. Transsolar was responsible for the concept to improve the outdoor comfort and set the goal to achieve more pleasant conditions for playing children and parents in this extreme climate and thus extending the usage times of the playgrounds.
The 'Cave of Wonders' creates the impression of a cool cave and is tempered by radiant cooling mats and an air conditioning system. For the outdoor areas around and on the 'Adventure Ship', the entire bag of tricks of outdoor comfort measures was used. These range from strategic choice of materials for the surfaces to efficient shading systems and the use of specially developed and optimized evaporation cooling systems. In order to prevent excessive heating of the surfaces, light-colored materials were chosen as far as possible, which reflect a large part of the solar radiation and therefore heat up less than dark surfaces.
Complementary to vegetation and the ship's hull itself, the two sails of the ship provide shade. These have been optimized with regard to their position and orientation as well as the material. The sails provide shade, but do not heat themselves up too much, thanks to the open structure of the fabric, which allows ventilation.
In addition, a technology developed by Transsolar, which we call 'Dry Mist', improves comfort “on board” by evaporative cooling. The necessary ventilators, the 'Dry Mist Fans', are built into custom-made elements such as clay pots or cargo boxes as well as the hull of the ship and are integrated into the architectural concept.
Evaporation of water is a simple way of cooling. Fogging systems are common practice in warm and humid climates to improve thermal comfort outdoors. However, visitors often reject conventional systems because they are sprayed with water droplets and disturbed by noise. The practical solution of Transsolar looks like this, scientifically speaking: An adiabatic cooling system combined with increased air movement significantly improves outdoor comfort. Very small droplets, generated by specially designed high-pressure nozzles and the focused uniform air flow of a fan make it possible. The droplets evaporate completely, people do not get wet, they only feel the cool breeze. This is why we call the technology 'Dry Mist'.