Stage set for Arabian nights

James
Thursday 08 Jul 2010

Aedas' designs for a spectacular new performance venue in the UAE

Surrounded by the desert sands and occupying its own island in the middle of a naturereserve, APV is organically tied to both to its context and through its use.Connected via bridges for vehicles and trains, approachable by boats, the entrances all cutinto the landscape to open into water filled cavity. The walls, which contain the water,become the main entry foyer to the complex and a museum / exhibition center.

Dropping from the main foyer, the lower concourse opens up and moves underneath thewater into a darkened space dappled with reflections from above. There are restaurants off tothe side and a 'black box' drama theatre near the centre of the space. Inside there are 44splashes of light from above. The light comes from 44 glass tube elevators.The elevators arrive at a traditional forecourt for the 2,500 seat venue 100 metres off theground. It is surrounded by 7 dancing figures which rise above. This entry platform alsoserves as a public observation area, allowing views beyond to the migrating birds which flockto the surrounding waters.

In the centre, filled with different activities, is the solidity of the performance venue itself - asthe pearl. The auditorium hall opens up above to the main lobby of the hotel sitting on top ofthe performance venue, which is enclosed with an outer glass shell. Reached with its ownexpress lifts, the hotel lobby is flanked by four figures which are reached via sky-bridges.These figures house 300 hotel and service apartment.The front two figures are filled with public F&B and provide shade to the forecourt. The backfigure contains supporting facilities for venue itself. These seven dancing figures rise into thesky with the highest one reaching to 284m.

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