Architecture from the UAE, Concept designs, Cultural district, Dubai Creek, Perkins+Will

Perkins+Will’s concept design for a cultural district located along the Dubai Creek appears to peel back from the land

Perkins+Will recently revealed images of its concept design for a ‘Cultural Village’, to be located along the Dubai Creek. Although the design hasn’t been awarded yet, the project aims to develop life along the creek and create a live-work-play destination.

Images courtesy of Perkins+Will

According to Luca Vigliero, associate, design lead at Perkins+Will, the design process of the Cultural Village began with understanding the surrounding context and determining the connectivity to the existing surroundings.

He added, “With the site, located on the perimeter of Dubai Creek, the Cultural Village is surrounded by a beautiful waterscape, with three of the sides of the island within reach of the urban residential and hospitality fabric. A new museum, ‘Art Jameel’, located on the north end of the site, creates an anchor point for the creek’s edge.”

The 20,000m2 project will also consist of an auditorium, galleries, exhibitions spaces, library, media park, workshop spaces, art labs, restaurants, cafes, retail outlets and underground parking facilities.

In working with the conditions of the site, Perkins+Will created a large open space out of the dense whole, and designed the buildings to arise in a dramatic gesture that appears to peel back the land.

“The main objective of the design was inspired by defining a new identity and focal point for Dubai’s vibrant culture,” said Vigliero. “The building forms seem to emerge with drama, as if they’re peeling back from the land itself, and referencing the carving of the creek and the blending of cultures.”

The roof of the building is topped with cascading steps that double as vegetation and seating. This makes the roof an extension of the public space where events, open-air exhibitions, workshop areas, pop-up markets, and playgrounds can all take place. The linearity of the plan also makes the spaces easily distinguishable by themselves from other programmes.

“The Cultural Village is environmentally and economically sustainable,” said Vigliero, “as it utilises passive design strategies throughout the design. As a result, the roof form acts as a rain water collection system, as well as grey water collection. Lastly, a water ecology regeneration area was created along the creek’s edge to constantly clean the flow of water within the creek, maintaining it for many more generations to enjoy.”