MEN’S COLLEGE

UAE

The Men's College design consists of 19 classrooms and 10 laboratories which provide teaching and learning accommodation for 500 students, supported and enhanced by ancillary facilities which include a library, e-learning systems, research centers and interactive meeting rooms. In order to encompass these requirements, a courtyard was developed into a grand series of steps, combining vertical access with tiered study areas. As the central common path, the courtyard offers linkage between levels, creating a smooth flow between spaces. It also significantly enhances the internal environment by ordering volumetric spatial voids to create a procession of these spaces, taking an individual from the entrance to the central atrium, then finally to the upper atrium which opens out to the main façade. Floating interactive meeting rooms are designed as pods which are cantilevered into the void of the atrium. This creative design response is intended as the aesthetic visual highlight of the development. The pods function as a dynamically designed enhancer of space which offers a visually dramatic, random juxtaposition to the formality of the rectilinear opening.

The random array of protruding masses on the exterior provides an opportunity for the creation of outdoor landscaped terraces. A series of these balconies are wrapped around the four façades to open access links between the main atrium and the outside, also providing breakout spaces. To provide an encompassing unison to the dynamically massed façade, the design uses a veil canopy originating from one side of the building and wrapping over it. This veil, enveloping the programmatic elements, is designed to express a notion of privacy and protection.