Maarej Office BuildingEdit profile
The Program & Site The project occupies a longitudinal curved land plot of about 5250 squared meters. It overlooks one of the main squares of the newly developed Jeddah’s Al-Shatee’ District. Its western side enjoys a distant but an unobstructed view of the Red Sea Coast. The building’s program includes rentable/sellable open and flexible office space areas, complementing services and a large underground parking garage. The total required built-up area amounts to 7025 meter squared. The building is composed of a ground, first and a second floor. The Design Concept The design challenge was to use all the available space on the site to provide the maximum sellable/rentable office area for the client, taking into consideration both potential sea views and existing environmental concerns. This requirement meant that the building has to strictly follow the property line and to embrace the potential western view. In fact, the curved nature of the site and its western orientation are strongly reflected on the designed masses. Simply, the building takes the form of a three dimensional elongated arc that stretches along the entire boundaries of the land plot. This elongated arc is composed of three main functional components. The first and the main one is a large transparent glass volume housing the office spaces. It constitutes the inner core of the building. The Second is a concrete bending strip that emerges out of the center of the glass volume gently carving the building entrance and then outlining its base to give it a solid connection with the ground. It finally wraps the transparent horizontal office spaces providing a roof for the second floor and the upper open terrace enjoying the Red Sea view. The third component is a wide curved screen of vertically inclined 70 cm deep louvers manufactured out of state of the art light material. The screen delicately envelops the long western and short southern facades of the transparent glass volume acting as an environmental filter against the undesired oblique sun rays, in a way that does not obstruct or sacrifice the important and indispensable sea view from the inside. Like so, the imposing design dilemma opposing the indispensable transparency that can allow for exciting exterior views, and the eternally poor environmental performance of western façades in the Middle East is sensibly resolved.