Out of more than 100 proposals from around the world, London-based OF. Studio recently won first prize in the international Dubai Creek Harbor Landmark Design Competition. Launched by developer Emaar last May, the competition brief sought proposals for the development's Landmark structure that are iconic in design and reflect the culture and climate of Dubai.
Drawing inspiration from the Dubai Creek Harbor's natural and built landscapes, OF. Studio's “LAND-MARK” is envisioned as an urban oasis. It features a gentle composition of meandering pathways and walls through which visitors of all ages can wander.
OF. Studio shared more details about their proposal below.
“The intervention was conceived to be a public, social environment on the coast for pedestrians to enjoy Dubai Creek Harbour. Made from concrete, “its calm yet complex geometry appears to be the result of erosion as if carved out of water to create open, shaded environments,” OF Studio explains.
“The design team ensured accessibility from several entry points leading into the interior spaces and circuits of the Plaza. Visitors are invited to experience LAND-MARK by gradually introducing the installation with thin streams of running water that accompany the walkways leading everyone toward the Main Pond. While the southern access is connected to the water, the west facade is composed of a series of piers, which also encourage access from the Creek itself. The plaza aspires to be an iconic intervention within Dubai Creek Harbour, weaving together social, natural and technological wonders that encompass the identity of the city”
“The height of the walls decreases as pedestrians get closer to the exterior boundaries offering a more human scale from the exterior perspective. Despite its introverted approach of the intervention, LAND-MARK opens toward designated retail areas within Dubai Creek Harbour. As such, views of the shopping areas can be enjoyed from the central pods, where the sound of moving water can also be heard.”
Due to Dubai's hot temperatures and strong winds, outdoor activities can be limited. OF. Studio's design took this into account through the height and proximity between the structure's walls, which create shaded areas. The curvature of the walls breaks up and channels wind drafts, therefore providing protection for certain areas in the structure from gusty winds. Perforated walls allow a breeze to travel throughout the structure and cool down internal spaces. Running water in tanks and pathways, and green vegetation also help reduce temperature in these spaces.
“There is no correct way to interact with the architecture. Its shaded and sun-exposed areas change throughout the day and time of year, creating unique beauty from moment-to-moment,” OF. Studio says. The three continuous fixtures of circulating water can be used as urban beaches where visitors can find seating along the extension of the plaza. The high terrace overlooks the city and is ideal for watching the sunrise or sunset.
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