Heart of Sharjah offices designed to be ‘humble’ says architect Wael Al-Masri
The Shurooq Investment & Development Authority, better known as Shurooq, recently teamed up with Jordanian architect Wael Al-Masri and Dubai-based designer Maja Kozel to deliver its new offices in the Heart of Sharjah development.
Located on a site that once supported traditional Emirati architecture, the office building follows the native building language of the region via its low-rise, courtyard-centered design. With inspiration for the architecture drawn from aerial photographs of the area that date back to the 1950s and 60s, the style of the office building aims to be humble, says Al-Masri.
“One important issue is for this building to be ‘humble’ in its presence as much as possible,” he said, “through its scale and massing as well as its inward orientation. The first floor is set back from the ground floor and building boundaries to reduce the height impact of the building on its surrounding urban context.”
The building’s form consists of modern materials including concrete and aluminium glazing. The architect also applied artificial material that mimics coral stone — a reference to traditional Khaleeji build techniques.
“It was important during the design process to satisfy all the functional requirements,” said Al-Masri, “while satisfying the urban and historic perimeters and restriction to create a building that can be classified as timeless in its presence and character.”
An indepth case study of Shurooq’s new offices will be published in Middle East Architect’s September issue.