• Collection: Bur Juman Gardens

About this Collection

Bur Juman Gardens Mixed Use Development - Dubai, UAE

Eric R Kuhne & Associates, London
Team: KPF London, Speirs & Major, RFR, Buro Happold
Client: Al Guhrair Group
Status: Completed 2002

Bur Juman Gardens is a mixed use development in the heart of Dubai’s downtown with an 800,000 SF podium of retail and restaurants over 3 floors with 4 levels of below grade parking. This robust retail development forms the podium for KPF designed office and residential towers. In a society where genders often socialize separately, family is sacred and one finds tremendous diversity on par with the great cities of the world the new spaces we were creating had to address this unique cultural condition. In order to understand this collision of culture our process involved a great deal of research particularly in the areas of history, science, pattern making, art & craftsmanship of the Arab Peninsula. The intention was to create a building that would be of its place and embody components of this rich culture that has been here centuries. Bur Juman Gardens was conceptualized and is experienced as a series of civic rooms that embody several basic universal components. Color, texture, patterning, variable day lighting and the four elements are expressed differently in each room scaled to provide a place for the civic life of the community to play out.

The South Village
 The first of these rooms, the South Village, formed the most important room and represented the element of water in its organic fluid patterning and detailing. Water is also literally represented in fountains lining the balustrade. With its folded glass roofscape it starts the journey from the light to the dark in interior of the project.

Pavilion Gardens
The second in this chain of civic spaces is the pavilion gardens. This room formed the heart of the project lined with small building restaurants at the edge and lined with palm trees and water fountains at the center. Dappled light it filtered through a 2 tiered light filtering system starting below the skylights with an undulating suspended wood ceiling that moves in a pattern across the space. Below that is a wood trellis just over the restaurants to further reduce glare and create intimate spaces above. Moucharabier line the malls on either side creating another activated edge on the promenade.

The Observatory
At the heart of the project is the darkest of rooms, the observatory. Working with Speirs and Major the room was lit with to create constellation in the ceiling and mimic the workings of the ancient analogue computer, The Astrolabe. Organic patterning flows across the ground plane then and has a 3 dimensional transformation into the undulating forms of the balconies.