The design basis:
As architects we felt it was our obligation not only to complete the following general objectives for this competition
- organising the functions with a clear architectural language
- finding a suitable place for the design,
- innovation, et cetera,
but also to design a utopia that tries to raise questions for problems one step ahead of the actual problems. Architecture and the knowledge that students earn here is so complex that the tower of this art-science must have a final message for its users. This message must encourage future architects to think ahead and use this complexity for the good of humanity.
How will the world of skyscrapers satisfy basic human needs to live in a quality community? What are these basic human needs? We believe that healthy cities must have a well-organised tissue of green areas that give place for society life as well as individual activities. Ensurance closeness to nature is a must in order to raise healthy-minded people and create sustainable, quality communities. At the end of the chain of thoughts our question became clear:
If we are heading to a world, where skyscrapers build up a city (just like now, as we are designing a tower for a university), how is this city going to satisfy the need for public green zones? How is it going to be within reach for us?
And we decided that the message should be a rough answer that shows a solution for this problem, with all of its technical problems and drawbacks. This way the question remains open, and becomes clear that if we are heading to a world of vertical cities, our technology needs to develop beyond imagination: e.g. Green isles floating in the air, always in motion to help sun access.
The tower of the architecture should be a beacon that points to the future using present technologies. It is not about the curving forms, about the fancy claddings, these are just tools. It is built around a deep thought.
Description of the building:
The place where architects receive their education has to represent open-mindedness and a wide field of view. It is fundamental for the building to have a strong connection with its surrounding and also be viable and liveable by itself, therefore the complex takes place in a rich environment in the downtown of Dubai.
Representing the diversity of people and being a forum of architecture, the building can be approached from different ways and offers a '3D green community tissue' where all communal functions can take place, students can meet professionals, ideas can be shared, and pavilions can be found with exhibitions. Three towers with different functions can be reached from this 3D community zone. The number of towers was defined to give home to three main different functions:
1. education: the architectural faculty, lecture halls, rooms, departments
2. profession: tower for real firms and studios, where also internship can take place
3. student’s accommodation: dormitories and rentable units
In the lower stairs of the university tower one can find big lecture halls. Students can have workshops in the lower stairs of the profession tower, where they can work with real professionals. Proceeding with its education, one climbs the tower to take place in studios and lectures in the upper stairs. Through the courses and becoming a professional architect, the tower is climbed.