Pei Partnership Architects

Pei Partnership Architects

New York, NY


The Galleries at Downtown Jebel Ali

The Galleries at Downtown Jebel Ali is a flagship development marking the launch of Limitless LLC, the international development arm of Dubai World. It introduces the first Class A corporate office space and full-amenity residential towers to the Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone, the Gulf region’s industrial and shipping center.

The development includes more than 600 apartments in two towers totaling over 96,000 m2, and Class A corporate office space in two towers totaling over 131,000 m2. Four other office towers and the Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone (JAFZA) headquarters face the same plaza and complete the development.

Once master-planned as four city blocks, the site might have been developed as four separate towers with large setbacks from the street, as is the norm in new cities around the world. Nevertheless the client responded enthusiastically to a PPA design that consciously evokes the urban density of more mature cities by linking the four buildings together into a linear complex of over 227,000m2 and by bringing them forward to the property lines. While the height of the towers was limited by the flight paths of Dubai’s second international airport, a sense of height and urban presence was achieved by the use of repeated vertical elements clad both in Italian travertine and glazed curtain walls.

Soon to become a Dubai interior landmark, the Gallery will be the focal amenity of the development. This cool and inviting indoor promenade over 280 m long will serve as a grand foyer for all four towers and will reinforce the sense of community and sense of place for the projected 8,000 residents and office workers. It will be enlivened with high-end boutiques, restaurants and sidewalk cafes all overlooking landscaped gardens, a broad plaza and extensive water features. As it will be a venue for major social, cultural, and commercial events hosted by Dubai World and others the Gallery will be appropriately finished in Italian travertine and Portuguese limestone. At night the full length of the vaulted ceiling will come alive with unprecedented video performances.

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Status: Unbuilt
Location: Dubai, U.A.E.