Dubai-based Annabel Karim Kassar completes 4,500 sq m cultural facility overlooking the mangroves in Ajman
Al Zorah pavilion is a new landmark in Ajman and is the first project to be implemented on site, as part of the city's redevelopment. The structure is a 4,500 sq m multifunctional centre dedicated to Administration, Culture and Entertainment overlooking the mangrove of Ajman.
The pavilion is designed with a very sensitive approach to the site in symbiosis with the landscape. It is conceived as a simple geometric form standing in the desert as a landscape within another. It rests under a canopy, a folded roof reminiscent of the existing topographical strata leading down to the water.
Facing South, the roof is all clad with zinc shingles protecting the pavilion from strong sunlight and simultaneously blocking the noise from the nearby highway. The dark tinted glass façade is oriented north towards the nearby mangroves, providing transparency into the interior and unobstructed views to the natural landscape. The roof catches sunlight and shines by day time and is lit up with LED projectors by night.
The flooring at ground level is in triangular tiles of black granite ‘nero assoluto’. The pavilion houses an Internal Auditorium of 150 seats extending to the exterior for outdoor events, an exhibition space, a café with a terrace, a guest house at the roof top level and an administrative floor. The car parking is underground, sheltered with a green layer.
Spaces open up from under a folded crossed cut slab: the slope of the folded roof starts from the entrance and reaches up to the highest point of the structure through an open air staircase which leads to terraced belvedere spaces looking out to the sea.
The entrance is at the cut between the ‘roof-scape’ and has a well-framed view out towards the natural mangrove. The pavilion extends with a walkway that takes visitors on a stroll into the landscape. The entire building is like a balcony looking out towards Al Zorah’s mangroves.