05 April 2020

D & A

Dhowbai Opera


For a city that never ceases to amaze with its capacity to add architectural landmarks to its skyline, here is another jawdropper. Dubai is set to become a new global destination for performing arts with the construction of the 2000 seat multi format Dubai Opera. Located within a neighbourhood called The Opera District, the newest development by Emaar Properties will provide a setting for opera, theatre, concerts, art exhibitions, orchestra, film, sports events and seasonal programmes.  Facing the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Opera is designed to be as iconic in appearance as the world-famous Sydney Opera House. It derives inspiration from the dhow, the traditional wooden sailing vessels of the Arabian Gulf, which are found in plenty around the Dubai Creek. While the 'bow' of the structure will contain Dubai Opera's main stage, orchestra and seating areas, besides a proposed sky garden and restaurants, the elongated 'hull' area will contain waiting areas for spectators, taxi-drop off area, and parking amenities. The area will also feature luxury hotels, elegantly designed residential and serviced apartments, a retail plaza, waterfront promenades, recreational spaces and parks. The district is expected to energise Dubai’s events and tourism sectors besides encouraging talented local artists and promoting global cultural exchange. The project is expected to be completed within a year and will be launched during Art Dubai 2015.



Transport termini


A gleaming new 50,000 sq m station located in the heart of Rotterdam has boosted Dutch pride. The Rotterdam Centraal station which opened last month is now the key transport hub for Europe connecting train, tram, bus and subway and serving as many as 110,000 passengers every day. The wooden and steel design which owes its existence to the collaboration of three Dutch architecture firms – Benthem Crouwel Architects, MVSA Meyer and Van Schooten Architecten, and West 8 – takes example from hubs in other European cities such as Brussels and Madrid. While the Rotterdam Centraal’s interior spaces have a decidedly international ambience, the exterior is smartly wedded to local artistic sensitivities. The steel, glass and wood structure references the modern aspects of Rotterdam’s identity. The cool finish of the stainless steel façade is brilliantly counterbalanced by the old world warmth of structural wooden beams that line the platform roof to create a welcoming milieu for passengers. It is as if the city of Rotterdam is drawn to the new station via the compaction of the small-scale urban texture surrounding the public transport terminal. In a sense the entire railway zone becomes one with the city. This finer urban texture with new sightlines and a mixture of living and working is expected to dramatically improve the quality of life and the environment of the station area. The new transport hub also pays a tribute to energy efficiency and sustainability: a large part of the 250m-long roof structure is transparent and over a third of the roof features solar cells, which will generate 320 megawatts per annum.

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