We are happy to inform you on our ongoing dealings with Bahrain, for a very interesting story keeps on unfolding.. An initial design proposal is what follows;
As a result of the participation of GoDutch / Stijlgroep in the Bahrain International Garden Show (BIGS) February 2015, and the there presented proposal for the shoreline-area adjacent to the capital city of Manama, GoDutch / Stijlgroep was challenged to do an initial design proposal for two major strategic areas on the Island.
The first of these two areas has a park-like identity and has a long stretch of coastline, it has the potential for the development of large-scale leisure functions. The project location is some 55 acres. and will potentially play an important role for leisure and cultural activities on the scale of Bahrain. The other area, on which we shall elaborate a little in this post, has the important role of intermediary between the city center and the shoreline and is to be known as the ‘Green Walkway’. This location will function as eye-catcher and will play a large role in the defining of the identity of the entrance to the city. Hereby, we’ll give you a sense of our approach and inspiration in regards to the process leading up to this initial design proposal.
At this point, we with the GDC / Stijlgroep team were already doing research into the history, culture and social context of Bahrain for quite some time. This location with its complex and somewhat problematic functioning lacked spatial and conceptual clarity. We were able to expand and implement our research directly.
The location is currently a place where the city center is cut-off from the potentially beautiful shoreline. It is a location with a rich history, but it is also teeming with developments and activities. We tried to tap into this spirit and to translate this layered and dynamic context into a coherent whole, which strengthens each individual aspect and shapes this gateway to the city into an eye-catcher, a vibrant extension to the urban fabric and a place of culture, activities and social interaction.
Local wooden ships such as the Dhow (having beautiful refined shapes with curves, angles and organic properties) came to be one of the main source of inspiration in regards to the design language. With our philosophy of ‘landscape is leading’, we set out to weave the urban scale with landscape, architecture and the small scale into a vibrant aesthetic and functional whole. Importantly, the barrier of the King Faisal Highway will be evened out, so as to reconnect the city center with the coastal zone in a seamless manner.
A meandering boulevard, shopping malls, a tourist information centre, cultural destinations, hotels, underground parking and an eye catcher – all become a part of the same cultural and (urban) landscape. A place to visit and to remember in a beautiful context. We are exited to bring you more good news shortly!
Meanwhile, another group of enthusiastic people has put itself forth for a possible partnership in developments on Bahrain.. but this is a story for the next post!