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  • The Architecture Institute


    dubai UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

    American University of Sharjah
    critics: Amin Alsaden.

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
    Mira ALMAZROOEI: This project is about spatial conditions in which humans are embraced by a delicate and malleable environment. Unlike humans – the structure is responsive, flexible and can adapt to external forces.

    Suppleness takes the form of an Architectural Institute within the contrasting industrial environment of Al Quoz in Dubai. Its delicate surfaces are an agglomeration of pneumatic units which act as both the spatial envelope and the structural system that holds the project and the temperamental architects.

    Suppleness’s pneumatic floor cushions are raised by flexible inflated structures that are compressed to remain upright. The slender columns link the slabs in to prevent them from swaying. The supple atmospheric ambience is a result of the human’s anthropometric pressure against the inflated structure. Where the structural “balloons” enclose the building by penetrating the spaces to create the ceiling and the undulating floor. The rounded structure allows for light to bounce and filter through the ceiling – creating a gentle diffused atmosphere – in hopes of alleviating the architects from their erratic condition.

    Suppleness is divided into three unfixed levels (currently) that allow the structure to breathe and constantly adjust according to the occupancy. The steel poles extend beyond the project so that there is room for the slabs to expand vertically as well as allow for potential stacking if the architectural institute plans to expand.

    Suppleness’s first floor contains the gallery, and lobby. The second floor houses the archive and studios, while the highest level is the auditorium. The services are detached from the pneumatic structure and are connected by light bridges.

    Suppleness’s site is left vacant to house temperamental and transient programs – an outdoor exhibition space for now yet receptive to a questionable future.

     

    sP: What or who influenced this project?:
    MA: Archigram, Anish Kapoor Arata Isozaki’s  Ark Nova, Jean-Paul Jungman, Dante Bini, and Michelangelo’s St Peters Basilica.

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?:
    MA: Reading Kissing Architecture  and Form Follows Libido by Sylvia Lavin, and Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami. Listening to lectures by Stan Allen.

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
    MA: MOS, Andres Jaque, Tomas Saraceno,and Ernesto Neto.