Window to the Ocean
Dubai Maritime Museum
Dubai has always been a city with a strong maritime heritage which today is transformed to massive waterfront developments. The inspiration for this project came from the relation of the sea and the city. Conceived as a continuation and a transition through the wide public space, the building dives into the ocean and merges with it. The experience evokes a descent to the seabed.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The museum is an artificial underwater environment organized under an immense glass roof, designed to give the maximum view of the ocean and intensify the feeling of diving into the seabed. Interior space is organised through cascading platforms that develop in a successive and continuous manner, allowing a panoramic overview of the whole interior, under a "water roof". Water functions as a temperature buffer for the building simulating the ocean's role as a regulator of the world climate.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
Presentantion of the collection happens in a direct relation with the ocean setting, since the artificial manmade space is fully integrated into the natural underwater environment. Integration of expansive areas provides spatial connectivity and enormous interior flexibility. Natural light enters through the glass ceiling and as the building sinks, space narrows and the light intensity gradually reduces, detaching the building from the surface and making it part of the ocean.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project was designed during 2014-2015 in Dubai.
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
Overall organization follows a triangular grid, which defines the main morphological and functional aspects of both building and landscape. This grid organizes the steel roof cells that are supported by diamond shape structural cores, achieving the necessary clear spans in order to obtain large-scale column-free spaces that allow the fluidity of the interior. Distribution of MEP services happens through the cores which also embody the main function of internal circulation.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Water provides different physical properties when compared to air, such as higher thermal capacity as well as the phase difference of water temperature in relation to the air in different seasons. Also important is the difference in temperature of surface waters in relation to deep-water layers or currents. Since sea water temperature is always lower than the ambient temperature, placement of the building underwater alows to minimize energy strain on the mechanical systems used for cooling.
museum, research center, Dubai, underwater, sea, ocean
The rapid growth of the rural and urban economy over the last decades in combination with the construction frenzy and the creation of massive waterfront developments have had a profound effect on the aquatic ecosystem of Dubai. Moreover, water related activities and processes are linked to the overall hydrological cycle, ecosystems and the atmosphere. This project asks for a greater recognition and awareness of the oceans and marine resources as well as their importance to mankind.
The main objective of the Museum and Research Center is to provide the marine enthusiasts, environmentalists and tourists with a unique sustainably created sea-based attraction that will serve as an Eco-tourism hot spot. Furthermore, it aspires to set an example at an international level on how marine development can be achieved in a sustainable manner. There is more to sustainability than just preserving species, we need to also preserve our relationships with them.
TEAM MEMBERS (1) :
All images belong to Nikolaos Karintzaidis.