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Designed for the Dubai International Finance Centre, Gate Village is a cluster of ten new commercial buildings in the heart of Dubai.
The 250,000m2 complex takes inspiration from the region’s distinctive architectural heritage, in particular the tower houses of Yemen, and the tightly knit, self-shaded streets and courtyards of many Arab cities.
Buildings rise between four and ten storeys above a five-storey, partially submerged podium car park, with offices and apartments overlooking a dense matrix of six metre-wide, naturally-shaded lanes. The complex is designed to create a village setting, activated by podium-level shops, restaurants and galleries. Live-work units are positioned at the perimeter. Large, external stair towers help create a strong identity for the ensemble of buildings.
Clad in prefabricated natural stone, the buildings are a sharp contrast with the glass and steel so prevalent elsewhere in the city. The high thermal mass of the concrete walls helps temper the internal environment and reduce solar gain. Deep-set windows provide self-shading, with mashrabiyas and additional shading devices providing both character and privacy. The stone facades are given different textures and treatments according to their orientation.
Won in competition, Gate Village was designed in just eight months and constructed on time to a tight budget of approximately £400 per m2.