By the Creek Harbor

Pragma’s winning proposal for a limited international competition to design a series of low-rise residential blocks within the Dubai Creek Harbor master plan by Emaar Properties. We draw reference from history and vernacular urban forms without resolving to pastiche. The approach to the design is quite rational. Architectonic elements are modulated and standardized to achieving a higher degree of efficiency and repetition – almost like a set of LEGO pieces.

An aesthetic reminiscent of traditional villages was attained through manipulating the scale of the residential block. A cluster of L-shaped volumes are broken up into a series of staggered “mini-towers”. The buildings are to be read vertically as opposed to a set of horizontal planes. A distinctive reading of the crown, where more transparency is required further accentuates the reduction in the perception of scale. The use of color and texture breaks the façade tectonically to achieve more human-centric proportions.

The solid parts of the façades are composed of light beige precast elemets with plain and engraved textures. Deep carved out corner balconies are positioned for the best waterfront views without direct exposure to sunlight. Narrower full height windows allow a calibrated amount of light into the bedrooms. Corner columns are slanted to avoid obstruction of oblique views to the waterfront.

The public realm stages the architecture and is crucial to the overall reading of the development. The podium is composed of stepped gardens where cafes and restaurants are embedded to activate the public realm. The courtyard at the ground level is treated as a private zone – a sanctuary to the residents. The scale of the courtyard is manipulated by inserting pockets of dense vegetation that vary in height to interrupt sightlines across the open space.

Team: Ahmad Othman, Jafar Abbas, Fayez Najeeb, Eslam Salem, Mohamed Yasser, Hasheel Mohammed, Rasha Saffarini, Rahul Menon

Client: Emaar

Collaborators: Vizualization by Dimatz

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