Marine Square- Al Zorah Resorts by Youssef Tohme Architects and Associates

September 27, 2016

Marine Square- This building is located on a sandy site near the Arabian Gulf and the city Ajman in the United Arab Emirates. The project is designed to respond to the urban scale of the large Al Zorah Resorts development.

A series of superimposed white concrete slabs penetrate from Marine Square through a forested core that links the Landscaped Parkway, Boardwalk, Resort area and seashore.

Several broad roofs, apparently insubstantial like vast sheets, and yet solid, mark the outlines of the building, which consists of a permeable ground level and six upper residential floors.

The protruding slabs change in shape in response to embedded lateral gardens and terraces. They allow interiors of all the apartments to benefit from abundant natural light and sea views.

The residences are designed as series of small private villas housed vertically between the floating white slabs.

Layered, the building consists of flowing expanses of inhabitable concrete. The superimposed, cantilevered floors allow several luxurious serviced apartments with private gardens and terraces for each unit to be tied together by a substantial central landscaped core.

Elevated on seven meter-high pilotis echoing the verticality of trees and the organic shape of the internal core, the ground floor ensures the flow of activities from Marina Square and the Parkway toward the sea.

The design challenges the notion of boundaries and norms in urban space. The prestressed white concrete structure is taken to the limit of its flexibility and is supported by a simple grid layering of small columns.

This treelike structure creates an interesting duality between the intimate interior of the building through its planted core, and the infinite visual presence of water on four sides through the lateral private gardens of the apartments.

In continuity with linear boardwalk activities, several small-scale low follies wrapped with a reflective, translucent cladding, are inserted between the trees of the landscaped central core of the project. The project is intended as a vertical and horizontal hub for the surrounding context.

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