The UAE is a region of rich heritage culture, springing from small fishing and maritime trading communities. Due to its proximity to the Equator and the gulf, the UAE has a climate that is humid and hot, making it a challenging place to thrive in a comfortable and efficient manner
Traditionally, this response was done through building tightly packed introverted houses, with high exterior walls that cast shade on the surrounding narrow alleyways as well as the private family courtyards. Through orientation and inclusion of wind towers, the houses became sanctuaries of cool and shade in comparison to the blazing heat and uncomfortable humidity on the outside.
Traditional buildings were economic in energy use, they achieved a degree of passive design to achieve comfort in living. They were extreme in privacy; they did not have large openings overlooking the alleyways or direct access from the main entry. No stranger could cast an eye that revealed any private activity.
The proposal analyzes the existing site, and identifies key conditions that distinguish the site and the courtyard house typology. Next, the proposal breaks down these existing conditions in an attempt to re-capture each one in a modern way reflecting the artist’s home, studio and gallery. The Pleated Dwelling uses the strategy of plane folding in response to the existing context and given program.
The spaces are created by the folding of two planes (see diagram) around each other to create a series of spaces that are adaptive in nature – the gallery space could be turned into a living room, or be extended to the courtyard and living space to host big gatherings, or it becomes part of the studio space and so on.
The proposed solutions study the site in Bastakiya and respond using modern means and technology. The proposal is a space that is comfortable and appealing yet critical of modern trends of cultural negligence.Source by Ali J Al-Sammarraie.
- Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Architect: Ali J Al-Sammarraie
- Instructor: Michael Hughes
- Gross Floor Area: 462.0 sqm
- Images: Courtesy of Ali J Al-Sammarraie
Article by Marco Rinaldi