Aedas today announced the completion of an impressive 1200 sqm structure to house the new British Council Teaching Centre operation in Dubai. The building’s infrastructure boasts forward-looking design, as well as sustainable practice.
Cedric Gonsalves, Senior Architect at Aedas said,
“The great challenge for the British Council complex was to create a high impact building of modest size, on a modest budget, in a city where most architecture projects are of a gigantic scale, with costs to match.”
This challenge was overcome by placing minor emphasis on the main area of the single story, white-walled building, while placing major focus instead on the elevated front façade. This front elevation is said to embody a celebration of UAE‘s spectacular landscape and natural resources, imitating ripples of desert sands, with a flowing gold veins running its entire length. Illuminated water cascades, reflective ponds and colourful banners are some of the other exciting features of the building that create a compelling sense of drama and height.
The Teaching Centre boasts a large resource area-cum-meeting place designed for students and customers alike to engage while learning about the British Council, supported by a back office area, as well as 10, state of the art classrooms. The accommodation encircles an exterior courtyard, surrounded by high glass walls that create an ambience of tranquillity and a transparent flow throughout the area.
Aedas opened its doors in Dubai in 2005, and since then has successfully emerged in the Middle East as one of the region’s leading international architects. It’s high rise residential, commercial and mixed-use developments have contributed in shaping the UAE‘s emerging skyline. Aedas has also been instrumental in facilitating Dubai’s transport infrastructure, having worked on the design of the Dubai Metro Red and Green Lines.
The organisation preaches a holistic approach to sustainability for both the built environment as well as society at large. Sustainability was thus a driving force for the design development of the Dubai British Council building, setting it apart from many of its new neighbours.
Cedric Gonsalves continued “The Insulation levels far exceed current good practice. The exposure to direct sunlight is minimised by adopting a solid exterior idiom and most of the natural light comes from the full height glazed courtyard walls, with the sunlight being controlled by horizontal fabric shades.”
The building design also offers extensive flexibility of usage; with moveable classroom walls to accommodate events or exams, as well as easily moveable furniture that can be adapted according to the specific occasion.