Dimitar Dobrev
Inter 10

Nomadic Proto Cities/Self-Organaizing Network Co-Oases

The Slope City-Artificial Urban Slope

The project is located on the iconic mountain site of Jebel Hafeet, the only such topography found in the UAE. The mountain is an important symbol of the country, but now it remains static. The government is in search of a mechanism to turn it into a significant and economically viable icon for the country. However, the current bizarre proposal to turn the mountain into a ski slope which could house large events like the Olympics became the main catalyst of the project. The challenge was to propose a rather more sustainable and ecological project for the mountain, which in fact is making the most use of the natural topography, instead of destroying it completely.

On an urban scale, the project is proposing a system of units located on the valleys themselves, closely based on the individual shape and slope of each rift. The project is addressing the problems of localised ground discontinuity and programmatic, physical isolation of the site. It proposes a network of slopes integrated with housing, commercial & recreational zones. The aim is to create relationships between infrastructural flows and architectural space by forming a new ground condition, driven by the site topography. Flows are variegated, moving between private and public in a continuous pattern. The density of flows controls the undulation and thickness of the surface and creates spaces between the different layers. Spaces are subdivided through a curvature analysis of the main road passing by the valley and providing the main access to the slopes and the different sectors. 

Not only the mega-form but also some of the micro-environments could benefit from the rereading of the landscape. In particular, in hub areas where one of the possibilities of developing could be to introduce raised public areas, which would not be vast, flat fields, but would be articulated through terraces and gentle slopes. These raised schemes would be connected to the ground of the valley through the interior of the buildings as well as by means of broad slopes, and pedestrian paths on the exterior. By terracing the landscape, certain advantages may be achieved: the visual orientation within the public realm is enhanced and it is allowing for spectacular vistas. By means of gentle differentiation of slopes, ridges, terraces the ground plane could be used to channel movements across in a suggestive manner. Therefore the locals and the tourists can make the most use of the site and the proposed infrastructure development would provide a possibility for sliding/skiing as a mean of transportation.   

In conclusion the project proposes a balanced interweaving of contrasts between the local heritage of the site and the new economy of the Emirates – to articulate an alternative of the government’s bizarre proposal to host the Winter Olympics.

Water hubs and pools connected to falaji irrigation channels Urban proposal of unit formations, based on the natural topographyTop view Rereading the landscape informed the overall design shape of the structure, carved into the valley.Material systemPlan viewLongitudinal section