Al Seef

Dubai / UAE / 2017

7
7 Love 458 Visits Published

Located along the shores of Dubai’s iconic Creek the development of Al Seef is an exciting new cultural tourism space that merges the city’s past with its present.


GAJ were responsible for the design of the overall master plan, along with the design and construction supervision of the eastern section which follows a more traditional style.


For this unique project it was essential that we first appreciated the extent and requirement of preserving and showcasing traditional Emirati architecture and local trades. The challenge was to design the buildings as if they had always been there withstanding the test of time through aging techniques and carefully calculated degradation percentages. Water marks, caulking and bulges in the edges all contribute to achieve this.


The eastern section includes a number of heritage style cluster buildings recreating the memory of old Dubai along the banks of the Dubai Creek and extending the existing historical district of Bastakiya. 


This started with the masterplan which was to act as the guiding principle of the development to ensure a cohesive vernacular architecture based on local heritage and construction materials, reflecting local traditions as well as the environmental, cultural and historical context.


Each house or building within the project has a story of its own. Some buildings are designed to look as if they were built in 1960s with darker walls, less lighting and simple decorative elements, while others have lighter walls with much more intricate details and embellishments on the façade which indicates that they were built at a later stage when trade was good and businesses were doing well. The colours used for the buildings were based on traditional Dubai sandstone.


Attention to detail was crucial for this project and the team spent many hours researching the era visiting museums and old souqs as well as trawling through old news stories and photographs for inspiration to ensure that the finished product was as authentic as possible. It was important to ensure that elements, such as cornices, ironmongery and wooden doors, were as close to the original as practicable.  Chandals, pergolas and barasti, which have been used in Emirati architecture for many years, have been cleverly incorporated as shading or screening to hide modern equipment and many of the fixtures are reclaimed items.


The result is a beautifully transformed area that brings to life an important era in Dubai’s fascinating history providing an authentic heritage experience and a stunning leisure, retail and dining location.

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    Located along the shores of Dubai’s iconic Creek the development of Al Seef is an exciting new cultural tourism space that merges the city’s past with its present. GAJ were responsible for the design of the overall master plan, along with the design and construction supervision of the eastern section which follows a more traditional style. For this unique project it was essential that we first appreciated the extent and requirement of preserving and showcasing traditional Emirati...

    Project details
    • Year 2017
    • Work finished in 2017
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Tourist Facilities
    Lovers 7 users