New multi-purpose Dubai cultural venue with a glass and mirror facade

Concrete, a new venue in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, has been finished with a mix of polycarbonate cladding, as well as concrete, glass and mirror components.

Located in Dubai’s Al Qouz industrial area, Alserkal Avenue was founded in 2007 with the aim of promoting cultural initia- tives in the region and has since become Dubai’s most important art hub, with 25 galleries and art spaces.

Concrete, designed by OMA, is a 1,250 m2 former warehouse that addresses the district’s “growing need for a centrally located public space which can host a diverse programme of events.” It provides a multi-purpose venue to accommodate exhibitions, performances, lectures and fashion shows.

The building’s services were consolidated at one end, allowing the entrance and event spaces to be situated closer to
The Yard – the district’s main outdoor public square.

The original front facade of the warehouse has been replaced with polycarbonate cladding and full height operable doors. When the doors are open, the interior space blends seamlessly with the courtyard. The building’s connection to its exterior is reinforced by the translucent polycarbonate, which brings generous amounts of daylight into the interior.

The rest of the original facade has been maintained and sprayed in a customised mix of concrete with glass and mirror elements. The rough texture of the concrete plus the reflections from the glass and mirror make the venue stand out in its location.

The building also features two linear skylights, positioned above four pivoting and sliding internal walls, which can allow either thin blades or full daylight into the space, depending on the configuration.