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Mixed Development Project In Seef District

Mixed Use Development
Competition 2009

The Seef District Mixed Use Development is located in an emerging sector of the Manama sea-front extension where a number of large-scale projects will be defining a new type of public space through the assemblage of autonomous instances made possible by new private commercial developments. We see our scheme as an opportunity to create a more synergetic urban instance, a cohesive environment with its own vitality. Our intervention on this site should go beyond its expected program and create a condition of enhanced urbanity. This proposal rests on the celebration of dynamic public spaces and the synergy between all components of the project.
The proposed development comprises a total built-up area of 48,975 square meters divided into podium, base and tower.  At ground level, eighteen double height retail spaces with a net area of 4,530 square meters cover 60% of the available plot.  Retail entrances address the street with enhanced accessibility for the pedestrian and visibility for the motorist.  Five levels of parking, totaling 15,450 square meters, accommodate up to 466 vehicles.  The tower above holds a 243-key hotel and a 254-key residential component. Hotel, residence, and amenities are combined in a single system, consolidating necessary services. 
The podium responds to the street by means of commercial outlets that address urban traffic and the hotel drop off.  Motorists’ access to the complex is directed through the parking levels where elevators transport passengers directly to the retail level or to a transfer level situated above the podium base.
A new public instance is created at the new reference level which is elevated above the retail and parking podium to provide a generous panorama along its entire periphery.  This level is lined with a green belt that comprises inhabitable terraces. In favor of the context of the street, it addresses the skyline and the seascape. At this floor, the sky lobby acts as a transfer level that feeds all the components of the complex including hotel reception, retail spaces, and a host of entertainment venues.
Rather than the traditional double loaded corridor, access to the rooms and apartments at every floor is provided by an open circuit that overlooks the sky lobby. This configuration minimizes the total height of the building by allowing for the largest effective floor plate of over 2350 square meters while maintaining an ideal slab-depth of 10 meters including circulation.
Spa, business center, overpasses and accidental balconies traverse the atrium void to further enhance the synergy created by the juxtaposition of the different components of the development.
The proposed tower façade is composed of a several modules with minimal protrusions, ranging from 60 to 120 centimeters that act as sun breakers, planters, or window frames. The density and irregularity of their distribution vividly animate the façade. This effect is further exaggerated by the selective substraction of grouped modules to create suspended gardens that visually link the inner void to the open air. An additional level is proposed on the roof, with an open-air sky lounge, sky pool, sundecks, private lounges, and enclosed sky bar all connected by the non-orthogonal rives that cross the glazed  atrium-roof.