Lebanese architects Annabel Karim Kassar Architects have completed the design for Al Zorah pavilion, located in the Emirate of Ajman. The award-winning project was completed last year and stands alone in the Ajman desert.
From the architects:
Al Zorah pavilion in Ajman is a landmark; it is the first project to be implemented on site as part of the city’s redevelopment. The structure is a 4500 square meter multifunctional center dedicated to Administration, Culture and Entertainment overlooking the mangrove of Ajman.
The pavilion is designed with a very sensitive approach to the site in symbiosis with the landscape. It is conceived as a simple geometric form standing in the desert as a landscape within another.
The pavilion rests under a canopy, a folded roof reminiscent of the existing topographical strata leading down to the water.
Facing south, the roof is clad with zinc shingles protecting the pavilion from strong sunlight and simultaneously blocking the noise from the nearby highway. The dark tinted glass façade is oriented north towards the mangroves, providing transparency into the interior and unobstructed views to the natural landscape. The roof catches sunlight and shines by daytime, while at night, it is lit up with LED projectors.
The flooring at ground level is in triangular tiles of black nero assoluto granite.
The pavilion houses an internal auditorium of 150 seats extending to the exterior for outdoor events, an exhibition space, a café with a terrace, a guest house at the roof top level and an administrative floor. The car parking is underground, sheltered with a green layer.
Spaces open up from under a folded crossed cut slab: the slope of the folded roof starts from the entrance and reaches up to the highest point of the structure through an open air staircase which leads to terraced belvedere spaces looking out to the sea; it beckons visitors to climb it to survey the rooftop views.
The entrance is at the cut between the roofscape and has a well-framed view out towards the natural mangrove.
The pavilion extends with a walkway that takes visitors on a stroll into the landscape; the building is a “balcony” looking out towards Al Zorah’s mangroves.
Photography by Tony Elieh