Debating the Mall of the World: Perkins+Will and BSBG go head to head

What do you think the project will bring to Dubai? Steve Velegrinis: As lifestyle and shopping destination it will enrich the variety of spaces available to people in Dubai. It has also brought Dubai a lot of international criticism as a return to the days of spectacular but poorly considered proposals.


Salim Hussain: The new mall renews the sense of ambition. It keeps Dubai moving to the next milestone and also shows how the phrase ‘never rest on your laurels’ could have been written for Dubai.

What are the major challenges? Steve Velegrinis: One challenge is how to make it really feel like it is ‘outdoors’. The physics of glass are that they trap heat – once light and heat energy passes through glazing it is trapped inside and builds up increasing the cooling load. That results in freezing cold inside and scorching hot outside.

Salim Hussain: There are many challenges: financial, logistical, design, construction, but these are all part of a project at this scale. The challenges need to be embraced and many lessons have been learnt from the developments completed in Dubai to assist with this project.

Can it be sustainable? Steve Velegrinis: If they look at not roofing the public spaces and the developer is bold enough to use a passive design approach where the spaces are designed to be conditioned by radiant cooling and displacement cooling systems it could be somewhat sustainable.

Salim Hussain: Yes it can be sustainable. The amazing thing about Dubai and the way that it has grown is how much variety there is and how it draws people from around the world as well as providing a vibrant atmosphere for those who call it their home.

How long will it take to achieve? Steve Velegrinis: I feel that in order to complete the project it will take most likely a minimum of 10 years but more probably closer to 15 years

Salim Hussain: Timelines have been set publicly now, so it is hard to not see these being achieved. Once Dubai says it is going to do something, it gets done.

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