AmorphouStudio's mosque proposal in Dubai creek harbor creates a fusion between Tradition and Technology.
Inspired by the UAE cultural landscape and the mosque traditional elements, the proposal seeks to fuse tradition with technology to transform the site into an open public park, and the mosque into an iconic building fore-sighting Dubai future vision.
The Pearl is a story of four seashells that have migrated from the adjacent Dubai creek harbor to the project’s site to form the prayer halls of the new mosque. Seashells have a significant presence in the UAE cultural landscape as they shaped the coastal line and formed the first ancient craft of pearl hunting. The proposal introduced combination of seashells of different sizes and placements to transform the site into an open park.
The mosque's body consists of four shells: three shells form the prayer halls, and a fourth one forms the Sahn (a traditional courtyard in Islamic architecture). The Sahn shellhas been flipped upside down and pushed into the site sand to form an open inviting space for prayers and visitors alike. As it intersects with the three prayer halls’ shells, the point of their intersection became the main lobby of the mosque. It is designed as a tent-like structure that connects the four shells, and proposes three points of entry into the mosque's foyer. Additional smaller shells of different compositions have been proposed as complimentary buildings such as Ablution spaces and the Imam residence.
// Environmental Sustainable Considerations
The proposal considered various sustainable measures to reduce solar exposure during the hottest period, and to facilitate passive cross-ventilation. It also incorporated an earthy sustainable material of terra-cotta for the outer skin of the shells.
Each shell is composed of two skins: a transparent glass skin internally, and a perforated terra-cotta skin externally. The width of the space between these skins varied paramatically based on the orientation. Solar analysis of the hottest time of the year has been used to drive the width of this space to minimize the amount of sun glare inside. The areas that are exposed to more radiation have bigger depth, whilst the areas with less radiation have smaller depth. This way, the external skin prevents the direct exposure of the internal skin to the sun radiation, and therefore it reduces the reliance on the prevailing air-conditioning system.
// Materiality and Construction
External perforated skin of each shell is to be constructed using 3d printed terra-cotta tiles fixed into a steel frame. A network of small water pipes is designed to run through these tiles with built-in sprinkler system. In the hot season, the sprinkler system will be activated automatically to create moisture on these tiles. As the wind blows throw the tiles, it will create a process of passive-evaporative cooling system. Additionally, the internal glass skin panels can slide up to facilitate cross ventilation throughout the shell space, and allowing prayers to use the space as a semi-open shell during the good weather season. As a result, the shell can be used as a closed air-conditioned shell during the hot season, and as a semi-open shaded with passive-evaporative cooling during the good season.
// Transformation: From Tradition to Future
The design proposed new evolutionary means of incorporating mosque traditional elements of Sahn, Riwaq, Pattern, and Minaret into the new form. Preserving their traditional function, these elements claim new identity as they connect the past with the future.The new Sahn (a traditional courtyard in Islamic architecture) departs from the traditional orthogonal square into a fluid geometry of a flipped seashell. The new Riwaq (a transitional space from the outdoor to the indoor of the mosque, often defined with an arcade) varies in width on the different sides of each shell to reduce radiation on the internal skin. The external skin pattern departs from the traditional static pattern of Islamic architecture and evolves into parametric differentiated dynamic pattern that create animated shadows on the inner glass skin. The shadows density and scale vary throughout the different times of the day. The Minaret (a slender tower that rises higher than the mosque, enough to be seen from a distance) has been abstracted to an elongated slice of a seashell standing as a sculptural form on the western side of the site. Light emitting from its hollowed out center makes it glow like a beacon visible from the harbour side.
// Urban Considerations
On an urban level, the proposal transforms the site into a social bridge connecting the main Dubai creek tower plaza with the creek harbour. The placement of the shells allows an open walking path for visitors that connects both ends of the site. It also proposes open public spaces for visitors where they can meet and use the site in-between the praying times. This treatment transformed the site into on open park, a meeting place for people, and a bridge connecting the main creek tower plaza with the harbour.
Two entries have been proposed on the Tower’s boundary side. The main entry has been placed in the middle of the boundary facing the tower, and a women side entry close to the site right boundary. People entering through the main entry will be directed by the landscape treatments towards the Sahn, and to the main entry of the mosque. Meanwhile, women entry directs women to their ablution space, then to their side entry that leads to their praying hall. This treatment ensures privacy for each gender, without assuming total separation between them.
Project’s name: The Pearl
Location : Dubai Creek Harbour, Dubai, UAE
Services : Competition
Status : On Hold
Type : Mosque
Project’s team: Zayad Motlib, Marta Krivosheek, Abdullah Tahseen, Karim Khayati
The proposed design intends to provide a conceptual framework to organize the marsh communities of Southern Iraq into a modern and an economically viable entity while addressing most critical ecological concerns. While preserving the tradition of fishing and farming, the proposal recommends technologies to produce organic food and potable water, generate green energy, clean the marshes’ water, treat the waste, and even cultivate fish. It is conceived to inspire the indigenous people to be engaged in restoring the deteriorated ecosystem of the marshes to accelerate the return of people and the natural habitats.
The envisioned reed-like structures offer a self-sustained system and a productive economic model for the community, independent politically and economically. Vertical slim structures that vanish towards the sky while barely touch the landscape are interconnected within floating islands. These islands are dispersed in the landscape forming a pattern akin to the existing islands of the marshes. The four structures (Living, Work, Water, Green) have a symbiotic relationship where the survival of one is reliant on the existence of the other.
Project’s team: Zayad Motlib, Raya Ani
Creating "Places for Seeing" was the primary objective behind the Greek creation of a "theatron" where they "danced and played in honour of Dionysus". The proposed design seeks to translate this idea into an architectural idiom resembling a sea wave stretching along the Kvaesthusbroen. As seen from the harbour, the building transforms itself into a big transparent stage composed by rigorous geometrical elements that's been orchestrated to form a new icon on Copenhagen harbor.
The form of the playhouse is composed using the narrative of a sea wave. Visible from the harbor, the big theatre seems as a whale tail diving into the Kvaesthusgraven, while the body of the building becomes the waves spreading from that point and vanishing towards the sea on the northern end of Kvaesthusbroen. On the southern end, a big curved, tilted wall is placed, symbolizing a dam protecting the city from that wave. Meanwhile its architectural function is to obscure the vision towards the service ramp of the basement level.
Project’s Team: Zayad Motlib, Ali Omran
An adaptable, light-weight, interactive tensegrity-based structure that integrates photovoltaic cells within its tensioned fabric. Photovoltaic solar panels, in the form of a thin-film, act as a portable solar charging cells that generates electricity to power the LED lights at night and to provide power points for the different uses in the pavilion. The design encourages users interaction to adjust its triangular panels to adapt to the different orientations in order to optimise sun exposure of the roof panels and the climatic conditions inside. Additionally, the light-weight structure folds down into a small package for easy transport and re-erection on another site.
The pavilion aspires to present a simple yet highly sophisticated form that engages the users in its formation, blurs the boundaries of inside outside, and generate renewable energy that can be converted to multiple uses. It aspires to create a playful structure suitable for a variety of uses within a public space.
Project’s team: Zayad Motlib, Marta Krivosheek
The organizational principles of the L-Systems were the inspirational source of the proposed concept of the Urban Seating. Using a combination of three basic units, an infinite umber of possibilities arise to reshape the urban space and to adapt to a variety of site conditions. Their formation at any moment is a result of people’s interaction with the space as each individual, or a group, can simply move any seating unit and join it with others to create a new pattern. This adaptive structure creates diverse urban spaces based on the engagement of the participants. The resulting spaces resemble an extension of a branching pattern of an L-System; an imprint of a shadowy effect of tree branches scattered in a given landscape. This blend between the shadow of tree branches and the seating pattern evokes a sense of unity between the natural and the man-made formations.
Project’s team: Zayad Motlib, Marta Krivosheek