Located in Dubai’s Al Qouz industrial area, Alserkal Avenue was founded in 2007 with the aim of promoting cultural initiatives in the region. Since then, it has become Dubai’s most important art hub with twenty-five galleries and art spaces. Concrete , a new venue, addresses the districts growing need for a centrally located public space which can host a diverse program.
The 1,250 m2 former warehouse provides a multi-purpose venue to accommodate a series of public events, including exhibitions, performances, lectures, and fashion shows. The planning strategy focused on maximizing the event area. All the services were consolidated on one end of the building, allowing the entrance and event spaces to be situated closer to The Yard, the district’s main outdoor public square.
The design for the interior introduces a flexible floor plan to accommodate the required program diversity. Four 8.10 m pivoting and sliding walls can create multiple space configurations depending on the type of event. To maintain a fluid space, all the major interior
equipment has been integrated into the ceiling, leaving the walls and floors free of any components.
Two linear skylights have been positioned above the movable walls to allow either thin blades of light or full daylight depending on the configuration.
“Dubai is one of those territories that once you’re involved here, there’s a climate of self-development and reinvention. I think no other city has had an impact on our practice as Dubai has,”
said Koolhaas in an interview
In Concrete, we are able to infiltrate an existing building with an arts institution.This building is totally produced in Dubai; it is not a foreign ideal, and thatI think is significant.
Rem Koolhaas, OMA founder
The original front façade of the ware-house has been replaced with poly-carbonate cladding and full height operable doors. When the doors are open, the exterior and interior space can merge, activating the courtyard. The connection to the exterior is reinforced by the translucent poly-carbonate, which brings the view, daylight and outdoor activities into the interior space.
The rest of the original façade has been maintained and sprayed in a customized mix of concrete with glass and mirror aggregates. The rough texture of the spayed concrete and reflections from the glass and mirror aggregates will make the venue stand out in the context of Alserkal Avenue.
Project: Alserkal Avenue Events Space
Location: Dubai, UAE
Program: Exhibition Space, 1,250 m2 (Event space 750 m2;
Office 140 m2; Services 300m2; Utilities 60m2)
Project Architect: Kaveh Dabiri
Team: Yoonhee Bae, Aras Burak, Shabnam Hosseini,
Mohammed Jabri, Alejandro Noe, Guerrero Ortega, Christin
Simonian, Mayar Soliman