OMA’s first UAE project has been inaugurated in Dubai.
Located on Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz, OMA’s Concrete venue has been designed to accommodate public events, exhibitions, performances, and lectures.
The architecture firm stated that the development demonstrates its commitment to preserving and repurposing existing buildings.
Rem Koolhaas, OMA’s founding partner, said: “Dubai is one of the cities that has had a deep impact on our work, and I am very happy that this particular building is our first effort here.
In concrete, we are not introducing a new shape, but instead were able to infiltrate an existing building with an arts institution. This building is totally produced in Dubai; it is not a foreign ideal, and I think that is significant.”
With its pivoting and sliding walls, 8m-high ceilings, and translucent façade with full-height doors, Concrete offers a variety of configurations to exhibitors. The project was led by OMA’s Iyad Alsaka and Kaveh Dabiri, and its interior design and engineering works were completed by Dubai-based companies.
Alsaka, a partner at OMA, commented: “The Gulf is an important region for OMA, and we are happy to have been able to collaborate with an organisation like Alserkal Avenue, whose vision is so similar to our own.
“With this project, we wanted to keep the interior as neutral and flexible as possible, while transforming the existing exterior so that it would stand out from the existing buildings.”
Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, patron and founder of Alserkal Avenue, added: “Over the last decade, Alserkal Avenue has grown and evolved organically with the arts and culture scene of the UAE. The introduction of Concrete marks a new milestone as part of the cultural advancement of the region.”