The site lies in a city which, historically, primarily relied on fishing as a means of trade while morphologically surrounded by desert in a city highly influenced by culture and religion, and in keeping this in mind, a religious/formal approach informed our design.
A drive through the city would unveil a kaleidoscope of elements borrowed from Islamic architecture such as domes. Finally, we identified the main architectural dilemma in Abu Shaghara, where the clash between two organisms [cars + people] generated a holistic architectural proposal.
The proposal to the existing urban problem is to elevate the car mall up and away from the city and give the landscape back to the people. In order to achieve this goal we thought to design a mega structure that will house all the programmatic needs of machine trading.
The resultant area beneath is human focused; there is retail, food and beverage areas and leisure with the landscape component. The project “Arkan 5” creates opportunities beyond its internal use and benefits; it fosters potential for economic growth in the neighborhood and provides opportunities to boost the infrastructure of the city and neighborhood.
The final aim is to maintain the local communities and enhance their lifestyles by bringing into the area new necessary public functions which are almost totally absent at the present time. As the name suggests, Arkan 5 is composed of 5 pillars on which rests the primary structure.
The central pillar responds to the Qibla direction and forms the vertically open mosque space, further analysis and textual description can be extracted from the boards. Source by Ali J Al-Sammarraie.
Location: Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Student Thesis Project: Ali J Al-Sammarraie, Rami Abdelhamid, Muhammed Aljbori
Instructor: Cristiano Luchetti
Clients: Sharjah Municapality
Area: 34,900 sqm
Year: 2015 Spring
Images: Courtesy of Ali J Al-Sammarraie, Rami Abdelhamid and Muhammed Aljbori