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Vertical Urbatecture Projects




















The project starts by analyzing the Dubai. In 1973 Dubai was just a village in the desert, it was until the Arab world became aware of the power of oil and used it its own benefit and that triggered a huge wave of development.

The development that today lead into a crisis which Dubai is facing with overdose of icon and developer architecture creating crises of identity, and paradox between old Dubai and modern Dubai; genius loci vs. zeitgeist. One of the main challenges in Dubai is how to design, because it’s too late to bring the heritage of Dubai back, there is no origin to begin with. Dubai is becoming the ground of developers and western icon laboratory where it turns city into a strong form of sign making.


And this crisis not only affects the reality of the Dubai but also the culture of it which shape the city of Dubai today, a city that no longer belong to its place and time. It was a new form of revolution right after the dark ages of poverty and lack of resources that made the city look for the promise of the hope. A hope that soon was turned into a mirage.

It all started with the First high-rise of Dubai; the world trade center rose in to the sky in 1980s, it was a form of communication and hope for the city, a hope to connect to the world and to be able to get out of its crises. Soon after Dubai became the land of opportunity but quickly it was out of control by over dose of representation of icon and development regardless of its place, time and history. Architects criticize it but at the same time contribute to its madness in search of finding the heritage and origin of its city, the heritage that was never formed in a first place and quickly vanished by the mass developments.

Gateway project is not a solution neither tries to solve the madness of Dubai, it’s a way of awareness of its crises, a reflection of its city through a gateway.

Design process of the gate way starts from its site location, which is on the edge of the business district. It’s narrow along the edge condition of the site, which gives it a massive presence from one side and narrow from the side angles, which reveals its exceptional arch-type presence that act as the gateway and opening to the district. Gate way forms two faces on the border of the water. The one side that represent the manifestation of the subject of the edge, a simple surface of a gate way that driver sees when they are approaching to the business district represents the “genius loci”, It represents the traditional factor of the newly formed Dubai based on based on land, language, culture which is the first face and starting point of Dubai. The second face is the other sides that represent the “spirit of time” of Dubai (zeitgeist) represent the new world of communications, globalization and revolution that forms the second face. The boundary between the two blurs with the use of translucent material, creating rhetoric’s of ambiguity in search of an origin purity between the two spirits.


Gateway is a translation of nostalgia for an origin that Dubai never had. The displacement of its two face through the translucent material will stay in the form of a transforming, it is already corrupted. A translation is not simply departure from the original, the original is already divided and fractured. It is the translation that remains foreign to itself in the construction of its original. An incompletion that binds the language of two sides in search of purity in between always stays in the form of becoming in search of its origin. It is between those gaps that translation is possible and constantly negotiating with each other. The translation that divides the two are actually folds that bind them together and it is these folds and fractures that produce a very sense of an inside and outside that they subvert.


Gateway is the critique of the specters of such reality of architecture today in the fast changing environment. Gateway invites you to an unknown place and time where itself is always in search of its spirit, A haunted geist; it is the spirit of something that no longer exist haunted by the history of its past. A spirit that on day might offer Dubai new potential and hope.

The design process starts by critique of the core of the high-rise that traditionally shapes the form the tall building, the core is what give the strong from of high-rise and act as the vertical sprawl that becomes a building. The process starts by breaking the core and free the form from its static and fix position to autonomies geometric form cover the site. The concept is the result of de-stabilizing the manifestation of the strong and fix form of the subject of the core to its object creating a “Weak form” by breaking it, it is displacing the fractures the conventional condition of high-rise. It integrates its program and spaces in a continues open space strategy. By creating spaces that are visually related to an open scape, but that could also be accessed independently, the open space could be used by the different users of the program simultaneously creating a continues interaction.

“Open space as democracy”.

The second phase of the design is the condition of the site, the site is divided by a bridge that connect business district to other district. As the breaking of the core happens it wraps around the site through columns that holds the fractures pieces suspended creating a loop and a form of an arch, which becomes the gateway to the district, an entrance to the district. “Structure as the beauty of tectonic”.

The third phase is the elevated ground, the condition of suspending the fractured core through the columns in the air elevated the ground which will free the ground floor. The free ground floor open up the circulation which use to be occupied by parking and the strong form of barrier that divide the between the outside and inside of the high-rise and the condition of convention of vertical construction. Parking structure with fully automatic vending parking hanging from its structure creating a highly expressive parking structure. A parking that is part of the circulation and journey.

“Section as design”.

The fourth phase is the slopped floor plan that gradually connects to the ground and wraps around creating a vertical circulation, Floors get connected through that sloped floor plan that gradually take you up.

“Continuous circulation as journey”.

The fifth phase is the use translucent material that blurs the transition of vertical circulation along with the sloped floor plan by blurring the barriers between inside and outside of the floors and fractured pieces and the faces of them.

“Skin as skin”.

Gateway design process form comes from a process driven exploration of its relationship between body and building, Exploring the space between static vs. dynamic and the boundary between the two.


The gateway represents a new approach of designing a high-rise through difference approach to orientation and verticality. Traditionally high-rise are designed based on a vertical core and act as the main structure and circulation, which determine the space quality of high-rise. Gateway explores a different type of verticality in a high-rise by use of force, breaking and growth. By reconceptualization its ground and verticality in complex of vectors and movements would open up possibility for structure that takes into account different orientation other than the simple vertical.


The design starts by 3 mass model of the basic core of a high-rise. Then each model breaks into 3 to 5 different pieces. The broken pieces then rotate or misplaces based on the forces generated by the site condition.


Each broken piece path then connects to each other with vector line based on its path or movement it traveled or misplaced and the possible future of its movements. The path then becomes the main structure that also holds the pieces together and creates the spatial-temporal simultaneity.

Urbatecture Place

The Future of High-Rise Buildings; Urbatecture Place



A geospatial study of more than 35 million pictures that address the spatial distribution of where people take photos used to define the popular places at global level. Interestingly, in those 25 cities studied not even one inside place is recognized among the most popular placed picked by people to take photo from. Then, if we accept that “the social function of architecture is the innovative ordering and framing of communicative interaction” as Patrik Schumacher suggest, then the social function of urbatecture would be establishing and framing of ‘collective memory’ of interior public landscape for having a sense of place.

























The design of this high-rise has a direct correlation to its context and settings. The form of the mass and shape of the building is the manifestation of demystification of its location; the city of Dubai. Three generic elements of the city has been pulled to construct the ideology of the building. The ideology of framing a field condition that is concern by qualities between singular particles. First element is density, and it represent the growth in the economy of the city and its word wide image, so its translation to the field condition is positive and creates a sold grid. Second element is diversity, and its translation to the field condition creates voids; the reason is, the population of the city is not all united, but rather divided. There is friction between the native people of Dubai and the immigrants. Unfortunately the immigrants usually go there to work and the job they take are not fair. Most of the time they cannot leave the city till the project is completed. Workers in Dubai are often referred to as ‘slaves’. So diversity was looked at as a social issue, therefore its impact on the field condition is negative, and it subtracts from the grid that was generated by the element of density. Two elements combined generated a field condition called the density of diversity; and it gets extruded up to not only represent but also question the third element of the city, identity. The sole of the city is not what its image is; Most of the high-rises and skyscrapers in Dubai are not fully utilized. Currently the rate of vacancy in office buildings in Dubai is at 50%, but construction of new ones are almost constant. The shredded outcome of the extrusion of the field condition, is meant to signify the concavity inside all those pessimist buildings, through the part to part and part to whole relationship of its Pilotis; which frame the view of the city, and filter the Suns light coming inside through the dia-grid structure; whom which inspires release of tension between the master and the slave. 



Void 'DNA' Solid


Contemplating on the surfaces or volumes, then the spaces encompassed by those surfaces, then the negative spaces curved out, has been taken for granted as the standard procedure of dealing with the form-space dichotomy. In this design research project, the emphasis is to (re)define the relationship between the signified by forms and solids as a posteriori to the envisaging the signifier of the voids. The voids, as the absence of objects, are objectified in themselves as if they are suspending in the structure of negative spaces, hence the being-in-there is delineated by frailty of not-being-present-in-there.



Void DNA Solid
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