Dubai Smiles is a project that seeks to address the climatic challenges and lack of shaded gathering and rest areas for residents in the Bur Dubai district of Dubai.
Bur Dubai is a predominantly lower-income Southeast Asian immigrant enclave with a population consisting of single adults and young families. Currently, public amenities in Bur Dubai are paltry to nonexistent, with no public parks, recreational, or shaded areas within a one kilometer radius of the neighborhood.
Residents and workers escaping the afternoon sun resort to lying on the streets, resting under makeshift tents, or napping under various items of merchandise.
The lack of social infrastructure continues in Bur Dubai after working hours with no public places to gather, relax, or play. Dubai Smiles tackles this lack of social infrastructure with a public recreational area featuring a giant swing set underneath a dynamic billowing canopy.
Accessible to everybody, the pleasures of avoiding the heat while swinging on a simple swing transcends ethnicity, class, and age. This simple design utilizes only two main materials – metal frames and fabric. Shorter lengths of fabric are draped over metal frames to create shaded canopies.
Longer lengths of fabric are draped to create a sea of swings, hammocks and chairs. The resulting combination of swings/hammocks under a well shaded canopy is a design that needs no instructions to use.
Amidst the bustle of Dubai, visitors can also move deeper into the pavilion to a peaceful oasis where noises are reduced and a moment of tranquility is found through layers of fabric.
Dubai Smiles provides for a new model for collective gathering and encourages visitors to form their own spaces, temporarily free from the stresses of urban living and the intense desert sun.
We believe it can be a new model for collective gathering in Dubai and serve as an unprecedented neighborhood amenity for everyone in Bur Dubai. Dubai Smiles is a design for gathering, respite, and joy. Source by pinkcloud.dk.
- Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Architect: pinkcloud.dk
- Project Team: Katayoun A. Lazar, Leon Lai, Eric Tan
- Status: represented Dubai in the 2017 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism
- Year: 2017
- Images: Courtesy of pinkcloud.dk
Article by Marco Rinaldi