Nexus House of Wisdom
Year: 5 BArch
Function: Cultural Institute
Site location: Jumeirah, Dubai, U.A.E
Institution: American University in Dubai, Architecture Senior Showcase
Brief description of the project: 1st Place Award AUD Senior Showcase
AIA Middle East – Design Award
Nexus House of Wisdom is derived from the ideals of the fabric of time and the spatial paradox of the Arabian courtyard. The fabric of time, a theory concocted by Einstein, stated that the separation between the past, present and the future is a mere illusion, and that they exist simultaneously. His theories draw inspiration from a group of Arab scholars from the Golden Age, known as the Brotherhood of Purity, in which they believed that space is a form abstracted from matter and exists only in consciousness. The Nexus House of Wisdom aims to divert the nostalgic longing for that era from the multicultural societies of the Middle East and replace it with a conceivable and unifying dream by memorializing the past achievements and dedicating a space to further advance the arts and sciences.
Due to the site restrictions and limitations, the two major elements of the project, the spine atrium and the volumes, are designed in a linear fashion to compliment the theory that time is relative and that ideas/inventions are connected as nexus nodes since they are derived from one another. The suspended capsules of time are dispersed in the museum sector and slowly condense to form the institute and is simultaneously being connected by the atrium, the fabric of time, which acts as the main circulation and the spine of the project.
However, in order to retain an Arabian motif in the architectural elements, the conflict between introverted and extroverted spaces were tackled. The most centralized element and the main node for circulatory distribution has always been the courtyard, an element found in public and private institutions. The courtyard, while retaining an illusion of introversion, is also an extroverted element that allows natural lighting, nature, and transparency to complement its surrounding volumes. Thus, these characteristic have been translated to the fabric of time that act as an element to hold all the volumes and is prevalent throughout all the functions for visitor and research functions and circulation. The entrance of the museum is punctured unto the ground at an axis to the historical site, creating a sense of entering a subterranean archaeological complex. The visitors traverse from one space to another experiencing a narrative in the spatial journey of time.
City and date of birth: Jeddah, 25.05.92
Tutors: Dr.Georges Kachaamy
Author: Karl Abi Karam