As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show.
In response to Alejandro Aravena’s Biennale theme “Reporting from the Front” the UAE National Pavilion, commissioned by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, and supported by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, has chosen as its main theme the transformation of the UAE National house, also known as Sha’abi, or People’s house – a housing program that was introduced in the UAE in the early 1970s to house what was then a fairly transient population.
The Boston office of Perkins+Will has been selected to design a new mixed-use sports complex in Dubai. The development's centerpiece will be the 60,000-seat Mohammed bin Rashid Stadium, which when completed will become the largest stadium in the UAE. Other facilities will include training facilities, a practice pitch, warm-up areas, a 5,000 space car park, a museum, and a multi-purpose sports hall, as well as retail, restaurant and public plaza areas.
Philippe Barriere Collective (PB+Co) has released the plans for a Bio Climatic Health Care Facility at an eco-resort in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. The facility includes a Chelation Clinic, Integrated Dental Domes, Healing Clinic, and individual bungalows for private patient residences.
Overall, the alternative medical center intends to combine wildlife discovery, nature conservancy, and outdoor activities as part of the patients’ healing processes.
CEBRA, in collaboration with landscape architect SLA, has designed the Sustainable School for The Sustainable City in Dubai. In opposition to hot-climate educational environments that are often large, air-conditioned structures, CEBRA’s vision for The Sustainable City proposes a permeability between outdoor and indoor learning environments, utilizing both in equal measure.
Santiago Calatrava has won the competition to design the United Arab Emirates Pavilion for the Dubai World Expo in 2020. Nine finalists submitted 11 concepts that were evaluated on three criteria: their expression of Expo’s theme, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” whether the design was evocative of the UAE, and if a balance was struck between the country’s past and future. Calatrava’s design proposes a 15,000 square meter pavilion with exhibition areas, an auditorium, food and beverage outlets, and VIP lounges. The design is meant to evoke the wings of a falcon in flight, linking itself to the country’s history of falconry to emphasize the country’s present day goals of global connectedness.
In recent years, it's been no secret that Dubai has been attempting to diversify its industries, as the city moves on from being an oil-based economy. In this article, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Dubai: Making a Creative Capital from Scratch," Ali Morris investigates how the city is building its own design district to rival London or New York - and doing so despite starting from almost nothing.
In cities where a faded industrial area exists, a creative community often follows. It’s a well-established cycle of urban regeneration that has played out in Berlin, London, and New York. Attracted by cheap rent and large, empty spaces, the creatives come, building up areas with independent cafés and stores before inevitably being priced out of the market by the very gentrification they helped to bring about.
So what happens in a city so young that it doesn’t have a dilapidated area for the creatives to occupy? When the city in question is Dubai, which was still just a desert fishing settlement until around the 1960s, you build it from scratch, of course. With the second part of a three-phase build unveiled last year, Dubai Design District (known as d3) is a sprawling 15.5-million-square-foot (1.4 million square meter) development located in a desert plot on the eastern edge of the city. Circled by multilane highways and located between downtown Dubai and a wildlife reserve, d3 has been masterminded as a framework from which to grow and sustain a new design ecosystem.
OMA has won a commission to design their first project in the United Arab Emirates. The winning proposal will transform four warehouses on Dubai's Alserkal Avenue into a new multi-purpose venue that will connect local architects and artists, and highlight the role intelligent design plays in the city.
“The main strategy for the design of the event space is to blur the boundary between interior and exterior by bringing view and daylight into the space and extending the action and events to the public space outside," said Iyad Alsaka, OMA's MEA Partner in Charge.
Foster + Partners, BIG and Grimshaw Architects have won a competition to design pavilions for Expo 2020 Dubai. Under the Expo’s 2020 theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, the teams were selected from 13 invited practices to design three themed pavilions within the Expo's HOK-designed masterplan: Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability.
"A key criterion for the competition was ensuring that the designs not only embodied one of Expo’s core themes, but also had the flexibility and longevity to live on as landmarks and functional structures after the Expo is complete in 2021," said the organizers in a press release.
AL_A has won a competition to design a new mosque within the Foster + Partner-designed World Trade Center complex in Abu Dhabi. The 2000-square-meter project, envisioned as a "pathway to serenity" rather than a single building, leads visitors on a journey through an informal park of palm trees that slowly align with the mosque's shifted grid as users approach the Prayer Hall. Once inside, visitors are facing towards Mecca.
"The mosque is envisaged as a piece of the city, one that reflects the journey from the temporal to the spiritual," said AL_A director Ho-Yin Ng. "The mosque and the garden become one, with the trees and the columns forming an informal vertical landscape and allowing Friday prayers to spill outside."
The department of Architectural Engineering at the College of Engineering in Ajman University of Science and Technology will be holding a workshop from 28th February – 1st March 2016. The workshop is entitled “EcoArchitecture: Green Buildings for UAE” delivered by internationally renowned architect Ken Yeang.
Santiago Calatrava has won an international competition to design a "landmark" observation tower in Dubai Creek Harbor. Selected over five other proposals, the design was inspired by Islamic architecture with the intention to "fuse modern, sustainable design with the rich culture and heritage of the United Arab Emirates."
“This architectural wonder will be as great as the Burj Khalifa and the Eiffel Tower,” said Sheikh Mohammed, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates.