The project is situated within one of the oldest coastal regions in Dubai, where the smell of salt water is in the air but the waterfront is never seen across the busy crowds of people.
For over 50 years, people from all over the country and neighboring gulf regions have visited the souqs of Deira for everyday commodities and to talk to each other– they spoke about their worries, their ideas and their dreams. In the past, visitors took refuge from the harsh daylight conditions under shaded corridors made from traditional construction.
Over the years, more roads and parking spaces replaced the various pedestrian areas, creating an even busier streetscape.
We are proposing to use the existing site conditions and the modern day need for automobiles to our advantage, and create an intervention by submerging the parking program below the earth’s ground. This way, we can give back the street to the souqs and prioritize the pedestrians, changing the way we utilize the wasted space created by the automobile industry.
As the streets are always busy, elevated spaces are created to ‘move’ pedestrians away from the business of everyday life and up towards a quieter space overlooking the waterfront, using air as a resource that can act as space that can be ‘rented’. The elevated spaces are central to our urban intervention – different programs that relate to all the different demographics are plugged in the elevated spaces, depending on the visitors and their interests. Movie screening, children’s play areas, workshops that encourage the ‘senses’, and waterfront viewing points are some of the elements that can activate the elevated spaces, allowing for flexibility and adaptability of programs to suit each visitor.
Our intervention’s aim is to challenge the fast pace of the modern day city, and provide room to breathe within the city.
At night, the warm lights from the shops and elevated spaces invite the wandering pedestrians to enter the market’s corridor. Cultures differ all over the world, but people desire the same thing – to be given the opportunity to gather, share and make connections.
*Souq: The Arabic word for marketplace.
Project + Renderings // D04 Studio
Exhibition Text // Wri.chi.tects
Exhibition // Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism
Location // Seoul, South Korea
Date // 03.09.2017