A mall which is aimed at both people and cars is a project being undertaken by students at the American University of Sharjah.
It is the work of Ali Al-Sammarraie, Rami Abdelhamid and Muhammad Al Jbori, along with Professor of Architecture Cristiano Luchetti and looks at ways of incorporating both man and machine into urban design.
The authors feel that at present Sharjah has very distinct enclaves for residential, retail and automotive sales and wished to combine all three – so the concept of the “Car Mall” was born.
As well as providing easy access from major highways the design will act as a sales point and showroom for cars.
The authors explained: “The proposed project is looking for an architectural solution that will provide a ‘house for the cars’. Reversing the famous quote from Le Corbusier (and allowing a poetic license) one could call it ‘Habiter pour la machine’.
“Scope of the investigation is to design a building that will both function as a used cars shopping mall as well as retail and commercial hub for the inhabitants of the area, and finally as one the most important public space and urban park of the city.
“Due to the peculiar functional programme, architecture and landscape must be conceived as one design. The architectural solution will achieve an iconic role for the area.”
The proposal is to “elevate the car mall up and away from the city and give the landscape back to the people”.
While the ground floor focuses on human activities and public spaces for the city, the upper floors constitute office spaces, while the biggest component of the brief, the car mall, is located above.
The team said: “The project shifts from human scale to machine scale as one proceeds upwards. While the landscapes mimic the sand dunes and retail is submerged with the landscaping elements, the car mall sits on five mega pillars, and the form is made from waffle structure steel sections where the aluminum panels are attached to for providing light and shade to the interior and exterior.”