Reconciling modern hospitality with heritage
The project, activating 670m of Dubai Creek in the historic heart of Dubai, was developed in two phases: one accommodating the retail, F&B, and marina spaces; and another encompassing a 150-key Zabeel House Mini and a 200-key Zabeel House, both by Jumeirah.
The design approach of the Contemporary Area resonates the scale and rhythm of the adjoining traditional phases of the development, describing a spatial narrative along the creek-side through the masterplan linking to the adjacent Al Fahidi Cultural Historical Neighbourhood.
The retail and F&B offering was broken down into a series of small scale pavilions, drawing inspiration from the traditional arcade and souk typology in a contemporary adaptation. The meandering pathways between small, stacked pavilion structures create an intimate scale and alternative shaded environment to add to the variety and richness of the visitor experience.
Likewise, the massing of the two hotel buildings is fragmented into a series of smaller blocks to create a series of courtyard spaces and a more intimate relationship with the public space. This reduction in scale also reflects the scale and intimacy of the urban grain of the adjacent Al Bastakiya District.