This is a project by Reiser + Umemoto - RUR Architecture and it is located at Dubai, United Arab Emirates. There are six images for Business Bay - Phase 3 Master Plan.
Dubai is going through an unprecedented phase of urbanization and growth. Unfortunately, the majority of urban design initiatives stem from imported models that ignore the social and cultural context, and propose exhausted and failed models that have long since been abandoned.
The end results of most current development strategies have insisted on mono-functional themed zoning, which forces the inhabitant to travel from development A to development B and so on in order to live, work and play. Moreover, the forced homogeneity of such environments means that variety and diversion must either be paid for in commercial establishments or sought after privately at home. The wholesale importation of corporate tower development schemes along with their attendant infrastructure and commercial typologies such as shopping malls have let to the current paradoxical conditions of extreme built densities and associated vehicular congestion with a breathtaking lack of urban life at every scale.
Urbanity, the possibility of the social and cultural richness offered by public space is what is at stake. We are proposing a fundamentally new model for mixed-use development which, contrary to two-dimensional zoning strategies, coordinates infrastructure, landscape and architecture into a coherent whole which delivers spectacular urban environments that are greater than the sum of its parts.
In a mixed-use development such as this, one function does not determine the use of the site because our planning model is layered and 3-dimensional rather than the conventional notion of a single program on a single surface. For too long master plans have been organized against mixed-use by means of a reductive design methodology; first, laying out road networks and then, subdividing the leftover space. We are not advocating a nostalgic return to the public spaces of the “old city”, nor are we advocating an x-urban metropolis such as one finds in Los Angeles. Our interest lies within the new possibilities of urban organization as Dubai has to face the paradox of public space as it leaps to be a 10 million + megalopolis made of a multi-cultural citizen mix as the leading major business, leisure and cultural center of the region.
With this in mind, we have created a mixed-use proposal for the Eastern Area of Business Bay-Phase 3, which incorporates retail, commercial, residential and cultural programs in a new and unprecedented form.
Matt Urbanism Strategy
We are proposing a Matt Urbanism strategy which employs a predominantly horizontal and layered urban organization that maximizes continuity of surface, program and networks as opposed to discreet object buildings. Matt Urbanism allows such diverse typologies and systems as the traditional souk, infrastructure, courtyard-terraced housing, multiple park-grounds, towers, pavilions, cultural buildings and large footprint programs to exist in close proximity so as to establish a fundamentally new urban fabric. This is a flexible typology to that assumes a diversity of uses and environments that allow for synergy of uses. In the context of Dubai where object buildings on streets is the dominant typology for new developments, creation of the matt typology offers some real benefits. This alternative urbanism promises even higher densities than the stand alone tower model, with much greater levels and qualities of public space, while maintaining flexibility for future private development. Moreover, the intense proximity of functions and uses at a wide range of scales allows for the creation of neighborhoods or zones based upon environmental qualities rather than a single-use zone. This is an especially important feature for the environmental extremes of Dubai, where created landscapes can assume a serious and productive position for the first time. In this new type, one is not limited to being either inside or outside, but a spectrum of environments can be created at the civic scale.
This development promises to deliver a unique urban environment for living, working and playing which has so far eluded the majority of planning endeavors in Dubai. It is both forward looking yet taps into the deep currents of traditional values and desires that are needed in Dubai now more than ever. Moreover, it is a development strategy which not only benefits the site itself but neighboring sites as well. It is poised to become the prime catalyst for the future of Business Bay.