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Dubai / UAE,   2017

While Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, is a small and ordinary fishing region, it has begun to position itself as one of the developing cities in the world with the discovery of oil marine deposits in the 1950s and after that date, its rapidly growing economy. Serving only as a transit trade point in those years, this port city has opened its doors to large-scale investment projects with the development of various public buildings, new transportation models and infrastructure projects, and Dubai has begun its uncontrolled transformation. The city of Dubai, which developed itself with a self-governing effort, in fact, has opened its doors to tourism with a strategic decision to become an important tourism hub, having international qualifications after the 1980s and early 1990s. In this regard, the city has begun to lay the groundwork for its efforts to become the new financial and business center of the Middle East with 1 million visitors in 1994 and 8 million international travellers in 2010. In addition, Dubai, which has attracted more than 15 million visitors in 2017 and showed its efforts to become a global business center of the Middle East with a population of over 2.5 million, has transformed itself into a global center of attraction with trade, business, finance, as well as becoming a new destination shaped through "fascinating" architecture by many different architects in a global sense.

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Within this period, Dubai begins to follow an uncontrolled planning strategy in the urban scale that is trying to establish itself over new production of buildings - in which it has opened to foreign stakeholders over "symbolism" in the new investment market. Dubai's disproportionate and ever-changing master plan is presented under the title of "mega projects", which are now constructed with different scales and sizes, forming an eclectic architectural language. The description of the city itself through disproportionate, uncontrolled, and rapidly growing "high-rise towers", "skyscrapers" and iconic structures also opens up the question of whether any building development policy in the region is being pursued. It is not possible to read these structures with a common language or typology. For this reason, it cannot be said that Dubai has been developed in a general logic layout as the urban development plan. To be more precise, the impression and fear that it will not be able to show its own glory in its height, aims to form new artificial islands and establish its own infrastructure with all its splendor. Likewise, it is not possible to talk about a concrete housing typology developed in this region. However, all luxury houses that are offered with high figures and various themes try to meet the demands of the cosmopolitan population, who are educated in the region and anxious to live well, through a prestige perception. New Dubai dwellings or "villa" typologies, which start to anonymize with their sizes and heights and are presented with the claim of responding to every need they contain, make the thought of the essential needs and alternatives in this sense.In this sense, Dubai Nhabitat, proposed in the Marina District of Dubai, has a strong potency that places the concept of "human" to the center and has the potential to evaluate different lifestyles, as opposed to the high structures that are self-sufficient, closed, cold and monumental. The new Dubai Nhabitat tower is designed as a realistic experiment that evaluates all humanistic parameters in it.

The Marina district of Dubai is composed of various business centers and high-rise office towers, which are situated along the shoreline, and more importantly, it is well known that they compete with their heights in the world. It is impossible to read Dubai's urban planning logic with a systemic approach in upper scale. However, following the shoreline, it is possible to read some artificial islands such as Palm Jumeirah linked to Marina, or the Palm Jebel Island, located 30km away from Jumeirah, and "The World Islands". The project area is located just behind the area that are dense with high-rise towers and built with different heights, monotonous and eclectic languages. While the front of the project lot is directed to the Sheikh Ziyad road, the connection to the subway station located at the ground level determines the direction in which mass density should be transformed, considering the pedestrian and vehicle transit traffic. In this context, the tower spreads to the main road with its dense distribution on the ground floor, while expanding towards the Marina with its low density and open space as much as possible. This mixed-use structure, which has been proposed as a critical dilemma for the inverted, uniform and self-sufficient buildings of Dubai, focuses on the use of outdoor spaces as far as possible with its permeable skin, intermediate terraces, roof terraces and private gardens that give direction to different vantage points. Since the tower’s own glory is derived from a modular system, the individual volumes are designed as simple as possible. The structure is designed as a mixed-use tower that refuses to compete with the height of the existing buildings on the Marina's front and opens itself up fully with evolvable building tectonic. This is not a very common design principal that is followed in the context.
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The Dubai Nhabitat mixed-use tower, which reaches 310 meters height above the ground, is comprised of hotel and residential units with a particular architectural language that is fully pixelated from the bottom up. The modular spaces that allow the creation of private gardens on each floor are designed with the expectation of creating solutions for different housing demands in Dubai. The tower's architectural structure is perceived as a single mass when the language is read from up-and-down. However, the building is detached on the ground floor and the first floor as a hotel and a residence. The urban slit that provides this rupture is eventually described as both a public space and an important public space with a transitional node that allows a passage for pedestrians and vehicles through the subway station. The tower, which continues with three different circulation schemes up to the 12th floor, is alleviated and divided by the technical floors to reduce the overall mass of the tower. On the upper levels, these techincal floors are enriched by the social centers. After the 12th floor, the tower continues with double circulation cores. Some of the car parking lots are moved to upper floors to shorten pedestrian circulation. The structure of Dubai Nhabitat, which allows uncontrolled multiplication by its nature and form, is regulated by an algorithmic method.However, it should be emphasized that this mixed use structure, reaching a total of 140,000 square meters construction area, produces different types of living units according to various demands by the locals. The tower’s units can be enlarged or shrunk based on a 8mx8m gridded layout which does not allow some sort of structural limitations. Each module is framed with floor-to-ceiling windows and full surfaces opening through the module to maximize energy efficiency and get maximum daylight as much as possible when considering Dubai's own micro-climate. The Dubai Nhabitat allows as much open space, pragmatic, diverse uses as possible and provides users to create their own natural living environment.

To sum up, the project is proposed as a realistic experiment and evolvable structure when assessed in its context and within the framework of Dubai's general building development policies.

Project facts


Project name: Dubai Nhabitat

Location: Dubai, UAE

Client: Undiclosed

Program: (300) Hotel, (450) Housing


Architect: rgg Architects

Design: 2017

Start of construction: Undisclosed

Completion of construction: Undisclosed

Construction area (above ground): 82,500 m2

Total constrcution area: 140,000 m2

Height (above ground): 310m

Images: rggA

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