Agreement will see students working with the developer to design the Aljada Pavilion
Arada has signed an agreement with the American University of Sharjah (AUS). The partnership will see AUS undergraduate architecture students and faculty design the Aljada Pavilion, which is said to be a structure located in the focal point of Aljada, the Central Hub.
Destined to open in September 2019, the Aljada Pavilion will be a public space, and will be architecturally innovative in its design, Arada said in a statement. The pavilion will form part of the first phase of the 1.9m sqft Central Hub, which Arada has billed as a new leisure and entertainment destination for the UAE.
Speaking about the partnership, the developer says it will give AUS architecture students a unique opportunity to engage in a design project from concept to completion. The project will also give students learning experience into architectural practice, including design development, coordination with consultants, project management and contract administration during the construction process, the developer said.
As part of the process, a design studio of senior architecture AUS students visited Arada’s headquarters to present their research, concepts and prototypes. They were accompanied by associate professor Jason Carlow from the College of Architecture, Art and Design, who is coordinating the partnership with Arada.
During the visit, Melissa Bayik, head of Brand, Arada, introduced the company’s approach to development, and its commitment to architectural excellence. Damiano Rizzini, associate at Zaha Hadid Architects was also on hand and explained the concept development and architectural processes behind Aljada’s Central Hub.
Professor Carlow introduced the theme for the project saying, “We focused on studying and transforming performative aspects of the vernacular architecture of the Middle East. We then considered how these aspects could be interpreted as digitally designed and materially provocative constructions.”
Elie Mrad, head of Architecture and Design, Arada, assisted Rizzini and Professor Carlow with reviewing student progress, and provided the AUS undergraduates with constructive critique and new ideas.
Bayik concluded, “We believe the day was a great success, and the level of debate left everyone happy about the results this partnership between Arada and AUS can bring. Zaha Hadid Architects were impressed with the material presented to them, and the students were enthusiastic and committed. We are extremely proud to be able to facilitate these discussions and invest in architectural excellence in the Middle East through such a strong institution.”