Completed in 2017, the architects of Al Seef – the recently rejuvenated district of Dubai – Design10, won The Architecture Masterprize 2018 under the categories of Architectural Design, Commercial Architecture, and Mixed use Architecture. Set to enrich Dubai’s tourism industry, this development is a bustling trade, hospitality, retail and leisure destination that will appeal to both residents and tourists.
Design 10 were the master planners and lead design architects for the Contemporary District within the larger Al Seef development. The Contemporary District has brought to life 670m of the Dubai Creek waterfront with boutique food and beverage, retail, hospitality and marina amenities. So, rooted in Dubai’s history as a maritime trading hub, Al Seef integrates modern lifestyle and traditional cultural influences in the new development that enriches the experience of both visitors from the around world as well as the local community.
It serves as a showcase of Emirati heritage and culture through embracing and celebrating the Emirates’ proud maritime traditions. Al Seef helps retain cultural history whilst creating new memories of Dubai. It embraces the past through experiences rooted in Emirati culture and heritage, while revitalising the tourism experience around Dubai Creek, one of the UAE’s most famous locations. The Al Seef development is located adjacent to the Al Fahidi Cultural Historical Neighbourhood.
Developed in 2 phases, the first accommodates the food and beverage and marina and retail spaces, whilst the second accommodates the hospitality component and food and beverage along with car parking for both phases. The phases are more contemporary than the rest of the development and this is to create a complimentary contrast to the other traditionally inspired phases of the wider development plan.
The architecture of phase 1 holds standalone retail and food and beverage pavilions which face the Creek and the new marina. The pavilions here incorporate building elevations that are allowed to fully open outwards, blurring the distinction between internal and external space, which makes the design unusual as well as functional for the desired outcome. There are private roof top terraces and external dining areas which provide a canvas to make this phase completely unique. There are meandering, smaller pathways between these pavilions that create an intimate experience for local people and tourists and add a shaded environment in amongst the sun and the waterfront.
The second of the phases accommodates two Zabeel House hotel builds by Jumeriah. Public amenities and pool decks are elevated to the roof top, and these benefit as elevated viewpoints over the waterfront, marina and the rest of the buildings within the development. Part of the hotel builds are massed into smaller blocks by the waterfront, creating contemporary courtyard spaces and more intimate relationships within the surrounding public space. The hotel drops in scale until it reaches the waterfront, finishing in a way of dining pavilions that sit in the creek.
The Architecture Masterprize
The Architecture Masterprize has aims to become one of the most respected architectural awards and set a new mark for the professions globally. It is about embracing technology and new design to set the imagination going; innovating, pushing boundaries, and using architecture as an art form to create the future. The Masterprize therefore celebrates the very best in design excellence and innovation from the worlds of architectural, interior, and landscape design. The award programme is dedicated to showcasing and promoting talent, and the value of the science and art of architecture enriching humanity.
It stands to: advance the appreciation of quality architectural design around the world, celebrate the greatest achievements in architecture, interior design and landscape design, to showcase the world class talent and visionaries in these fields.