The Pavilion Downtown, Dubai
Species: American white oak
Architect: Studio M, Principal - Abboud Malak
The brothers Ahmed and Rashid Bin Shabib, organizers of UAE’s ‘The Shelter’ group, came up with the idea of having a dedicated venue where the local arts community could meet, hold art exhibitions and host lectures and workshops. Following the success of ‘The Shelter,’ which was the first arts community workspace in the country, the Shabib brothers wanted a facility that would act as a platform for creativity and a facilitator of artistic expression. They approached leading Dubai-based Canadian interior architect, Abboud Malak, and asked him to come up with a design for a space that would attract the attention of the local arts community and at the same time, give local creatives the feeling and ambience of a home away from home. The end result is the warm and homely ‘The Pavilion’ - Downtown Dubai, which not only achieved its goal of pulling in the country’s growing crop of artistic minds, but was also able to succinctly blend modern creative designs with strong accents of American hardwoods across every corner, wall and surface of the venue.
‘The Pavilion’ opened its doors to the public in February 2011 and is being packaged as a unique hub for a diverse range of arts events, offering a platform to promote an active cultural community to the public and to support the work of a rising generation of artists in the region. Located at the former Downtown Living Sales Centre, the city's newest dedicated non-commercial contemporary art space sits along Emaar Boulevard and directly across the Burj Khalifa. The 1,400 square metre (15,000 square feet) one storey building is fronted with glass and offers a clear view of the Burj Khalifa and with the effect of the ‘outdoors feeling’ inside. The front of the building is a lawn visible to passersby and features a series of sculptural installations that will be exhibited throughout the year.
“The Shabib brothers gave me free rein over the design of the project, but they had made one specific request; that I should come up with something that would make a strong lasting impression,” said Abboud Malak. “Also, one of the challenges that I faced for this USD 1.5 million project was that I needed to create a design for a facility that was being envisioned to be a second home for the most discerning and design-conscious people in Dubai. Looking at the task at hand, I was able to come up with a concept that infused the key elements of life, texture and movement into the large area.”
Malak, who established his architectural and design firm, Studio M in 2005, used natural light, maintaining a balance with concrete floors and solid white oak furniture to create an airy space of white walls and high ceilings. Like the works exhibited and the programme of events, ‘The Pavilion’ itself is designed to present and represent the contemporary and progressive of today. The project supports a dialogue between art and its audience further enhancing the cultural landscape of the city, creating a place for families, enthusiasts, patrons and visitors. In addition, ‘The Pavilion’ will present an annual programme of exhibitions and public art initiatives and develop direct audience participation in two spaces: Gallery One and Gallery Two.
Sitting at the heart of the facility is ‘The Shed’ - a semi-private space furnished with a solid American white oak table and chairs. Malak had specifically requested to use American white oak for key aspects of the project, including ‘The Shed’ and the restaurant. The interior architect chose white oak for its availability in long lengths, its appearance and stability in quarter sawn, its even overall look and its hard wearing qualities. For ‘The Shed,’ Malak and his design team aimed to achieve a sun bleached effect for the American white oak chairs and tables to be used in this area. They achieved this look by gently whitening the timber without wanting to hide the grain or the inherent beauty of oak behind a layer of stain and lacquer. The result is a raw and completely natural look.
"As an interior designer, I have always preferred working with American white oak, mainly for its strong features like great consistency, minimal imperfections and ability to take staining very well. This hardwood species possesses the distinction of being a noble, honest and timeless material that fits perfectly well into any contemporary spaces, It also exudes a great feel and ages beautifully over the years. A sampling of these features is demonstrated in the table and chairs used in ‘The Shed,’ which showcases American white oak’s natural aesthetic beauty,” shared Malak.
‘The Pavilion’ offers two gallery spaces, a library, a special screening room, lounge area, restaurant and espresso bar. The experience starts with Gallery One, a 30m-long space that acts as the main gallery and entrance area. The extended, corridor-like space is flanked on one side by the glass exterior wall and on the other by a bare white wall. The space then leads off to the left, into a more enclosed, sheltered part that is home to the reception area. This area is followed by a space that opens up into a cavernous open-plan area drenched in natural light. This is the heart of 'The Pavilion' and home to a lounge, library, restaurant and the much-loved shed and vertical garden.
“The lounge area is furnished with Cassina branded sofas that have been arranged in various directions to give visitors different visual angles of the surroundings, which include clear unhindered views of the Burj Khalifa, the restaurant and the library. The library is ensconced behind a large veil of bookcases and has been designed to be both a library and a work area for artists who do not have offices. This area provides artists in residence a strategic work area where they can conduct meetings, do their research and meet other fellow artists,” Malak noted.
Towards the restaurant area, all furniture used in the dining facility was custom-made by AMBB Interiors. The space, furnished with five metre long solid white American oak tables accompanied with bench-style seating and high-backed banquets, makes for a highly sociable eating and seating area for up to 50 people. ‘The Pavilion' also houses an espresso bar that features a 12m counter facing an open kitchen, which builds an element of activity and interactivity into the design. ‘The Pavilion’ also proves to be a showcase of modern furniture pieces, embracing leading designs by E15, Foscarini, Cassina, Established & Sons, Magis, Pianca, Accademia, B&B Italia, Vitra and Riva 1920.
“Aside from being heavily resistant to decay, another strong advantage gained from using American white oak is that design firms, craftsmen and architects not only regard it as a hardwood that is durable and easy to work with but also cite it as a very reliable building material. This is particularly true in instances when one does not have the luxury of inspecting the order prior to the purchase,” said Malak. “Using a strong American hardwood like white oak for ‘The Pavilion’ played an integral role in implementing the design I created specifically for the local artistic community. It was important for the design team to make use of materials that were built to last long and yet still provide a feel of aesthetic perfection for the project, hence the choice of American hardwoods across various aspects of this project.”
Perhaps one of the highlights of ‘The Pavilion’ is its vertical garden, which is a wall adorned with over 2,000 plants of over 60 different species and affording the venue a key tropical feel. The path to the garden leads to the second gallery area, which is auspiciously called ‘Gallery Two,’ offering a larger space and is visible from the main road outside. After ‘Gallery Two’ comes the ‘Screening Room’, which can accommodate around 38 people for special screenings of art documentaries and independent films. The venue uses lounge style chars and a goat hair carpet, considerably adding key aesthetic value to the blue colour scheme adopted for the screening room.
“American hardwoods helped bring a ‘back to the elements’ kind of feeling to ‘The Pavilion’ and shines out throughout the venue. Using solid white oak also gave us the advantage and confidence of working with a building material that is built to last and also easy to work with. Its sturdiness and strength makes it a good conversation starter for people who visit the Shed, while its beauty and value in furniture is highlighted across the tables and chairs used in the restaurant. ‘The Pavilion’ is a homely and artistic cove for the creative minds of Dubai and is only made more remarkable with the presence of American hardwoods in the background,” concluded Malak.
Seç bir tür:
- American alder
- American ash
- American aspen
- American basswood
- American beech
- American yellow birch
- American cherry
- American cottonwood
- American elm
- American gum
- American hackberry
- American hickory & pecan
- American hard maple
- American soft maple
- American red oak
- American white oak
- American sycamore
- American tulipwood
- American walnut
- American willow