New OMA-designed space

Alserkal Avenue, Dubai / United Arab Emirates

March 18, 2016

Alserkal Avenue
United Arab Emirates
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Alserkal Avenue will preview a new multi-purpose venue to be designed by The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) during Dubai Art Week, March 14–19, 2016. OMA will transform a set of four warehouses on the Avenue into an event and project space that fuses the industrial and cultural character of the neighbourhood. Developed over the course of last year, the OMA-design was selected because of its ability to encourage new possibilities for content and artistic practice, and its ability to engage with and bring more creative talent to the Avenue. The complete space, which is anticipated to open in fall 2016, will bring greater attention to intelligent design practices in Dubai, and spur dialogue about the vital role architects and artists play in our communities.

Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, Founder of Alserkal Avenue comments, “We selected OMA to design our new project space because they share our commitment to bold ideas and experimentation. Their design provides us with a new ‘home’ for arts and culture programming and enables us to take even greater risks as we look towards the future.”

The new space, anticipated to open in fall 2016, will be OMA’s first built project in the United Arab Emirates. A preview of the 1,000 m2 interior gallery will take place during Dubai Art Week. The OMA-designed project space provides Alserkal Avenue with a central location to host diverse, large-scale public events.  Envisioned as a multi-purpose space, the venue will be able to accommodate world-class art exhibitions, performances, conferences and more.

Vilma Jurkute, Director, Alserkal Avenue says, “We are witnessing growing demand from the international art scene within the regional arts landscape. Alserkal Avenue has always pushed the potential for the art scene; the space will offer a new opportunity to facilitate a closer dialogue between east and west while strengthening the infrastructure for the arts locally.”

The design introduces a flexible floor plan with four 8.10 m moveable walls, which rotate or slide, allowing for different configurations depending on the type of event. The entrance, with full-height transparent sliding doors, strengthens the continuity between the interior and exterior, extending the action and events to the public square outside. The existing exterior shell will be wrapped in a customized concrete spray, distinguishing the building from the other surrounding warehouses.

Iyad Alsaka, OMA’s MEA Partner in Charge comments “The main strategy for the design of the event space is to blur the boundary between interior and exterior by bringing view and daylight into the space and extending the action and events to the public square outside.”
Non UAE press enquiries:
Concetta Duncan, SUTTON
concetta [​at​] / T + 1 917 9714664

UAE press enquiries:
Haniya Bhatty, Alserkal Avenue
haniya [​at​] / T +971 558 7776

About Alserkal Avenue
Alserkal Avenue is the region’s foremost arts and culture neighbourhood located in Al Quoz, Dubai. Since it was established in 2007, Alserkal Avenue has grown to become an essential platform for the development of homegrown artistic and cultural initiatives. It supports a vibrant community of contemporary art galleries and alternative art spaces, together with design, media and industrial studios. In 2015, Alserkal Avenue introduced its own homegrown programme as an arts organization dedicated to encouraging new ideas, open dialogue and a more diverse and rich eco-system for art in the region. In 2016, Alserkal Avenue will launch its project space as well as new art, design and creative concepts.

About OMA
OMA is a leading international partnership practicing architecture, urbanism, and cultural analysis. OMA’s buildings and masterplans around the world insist on intelligent forms while inventing new possibilities for content and everyday use.

AMO, a research and design studio, works in areas beyond architecture that today have an increasing influence on architecture itself: media, politics, renewable energy, technology, publishing, fashion. OMA is led by nine partners—Rem Koolhaas, Ellen van Loon, Reinier de Graaf, Shohei Shigematsu, Iyad Alsaka, David Gianotten, Chris van Duijn, Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, and Jason Long—and maintains an international practice with offices in Rotterdam, New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, Doha and Dubai.