Project
OCULUS COMPLEX

Location
DUBAI, UAE

Type
Competition. Third Prize

Area / Size
335 200 sm

 

The building’s footprint is a shard that is orientated to Mecca. Inside the volume a cavernous space – the “nest”- functions as a prayer hall. The nest is stretched towards Kaaba, the holiest place of Islam towards where all Muslims turn during prayer. A sloping floor defines the prayer area that descends toward the Kaaba direction. Public functions revolve around the “nest” and connect the building’s spaces.

These areas are characterized by dramatic natural lighting conditions, which are related to the building’s structural and technical characteristics. The social spaces revolve around the Prayer Hall and connect the different functions of the building. Like the Souk (the traditional marketplace), which was often shaded and passively cooled and ventilated, the circulation throughout the building’s public areas is shaded and passively cooled. Overall arrangement of Interior space leads heated air to the ventilation chimneys located on the building’s roof.

Cool water from the seabed is pumped to the top of the building and with the use of gravity it is spread through a network of pipes that are embedded inside the concrete slabs. Since seawater temperature is always lower than the ambient temperature, this network of cool water inside the building creates a system of ambient cooling for the interior spaces, which allows minimizing energy strain on the mechanical systems used for cooling.