(2004) Office & Residential Mixed-Useclient : The Royal Court
typology : Mixed-Use
services : Architecture
where : Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain
The competition brief calls for three program functions within the Client’s north plot (Phase I), comprising of open plan offices, apartments and a commercial center on the ground floor, each with independent access points yet internally linked for optimal management control. Mixed-use projects throughout the world have demonstrated the successful application of clear programming distinctions organized around pivotal axes from which radiate the forms and functions of the design.
The present competition entry follows this planning principle that will be applied to the master planning suggestion for the south plot (Phase II) and reflects the design’s sensitivity to its context, surrounding views and end-user circulation and experience of the architectural promenade. In approaching the mixed-use projects, the building’s massing solution attempts to preserve the identity of each function whilst combine their forms into a single balanced composition.
The success of this composition is a result of the optimal vantage point towards which the building orients itself, as the visual impact of such a development is crucial in establishing a “contact” with the population. In this case, the vantage point is Sheikh Salman Highway that the Bahrain zoning requirements only reinforce with the restrictions placed on slip-roads into the project along the northern side of the plot.
As a result of this “stage-setting”, the development will become an instantly recognizable building icon in the urban landscape of Manama. Buildings today are icons of our cities and are powerful as they unify people by their own needs of identity and aspirations.