Al Maryah Island, is a man-made enclave between Al Reem Island, Abu Dhabi Island and Mina Zayed. Its central position enables the island to become a link between the city and the Louvre Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island. Central to this urban ligament stands the Four Seasons which, together with the adjacent Abu Dhabi stock exchange, establishes a pedestrian epicenter of metropolitan energy along the waterfront. When so many cities in the Gulf are defined by accumulations of mirror-glass point towers, objects in an undifferentiated field, an anti-urban setting designed for cars and hostile to pedestrians, can the public realm be reclaimed through an architecture that enables the possibility of human-scaled spaces, shaded gardens and lush landscapes. The formal logic of the building is shaped by the ground plane, where three distinct axes of movement enable the hotel, residential, and conference users to share and activate the public realm. Here, a network of carefully scaled gardens, each with its own distinct identity, guides visitors into the various components of the building. Stepping down towards the water, two floors of retail create a double-height external shaded colonnade fronting a waterside walk.