This year’s ‘Abwab’ pavilion is built by the Dubai-based firm Fahed + Architects, who’ve joined forces with waste management company Bee’ah to source recycled material for the design, including bed springs and concrete. The space, which will exhibit projects by designers across the region as well as highlight values like recycling, conservation and technology, will be set in the centre of Dubai Design District (d3).
“We met with Dubai Design Week and they asked us to create a pavilion,” said Fahed Majeed, founder of Fahed + Architects. “One of the mandates was that we use recycled material from the Bee’ah yard in Sharjah. So we visited the facilities a couple of times and they have the most sophisticated recycling facilities in the entire Middle East region. They have state-of-the-art recycling facilities for recycling rubber, metal, plastic and even mattresses.”
During one of his visits, Fahed came across bedspring coils. Taken by the surprising versatility of the material, the architect pitched it to the client, who readily accepted the idea.
“It looked very energetic and dynamic, so I was directed towards that material,” he said. “I had a lot of confidence in working with it. I thought, just by using it we can do something interesting.”
Also designed by Fahed + Architects’ Githa Vijo and Victoria Parker, the pavilion evokes a honeycomb as it was colour treated to take on a copper, orange appearance. Surrounding the pavilion is a one metre concrete barrier that prevents people from approaching the side of the structure.
“You can see from one of the sketches that there are a bunch of columns that stand upward, and the springs float around them like cotton candy,” said Majeed. “It’s a real challenge for multiple reasons. Firstly, the material has never been used before, and secondly, we don’t have a foundation because it’s a temporary structure that needs to be built and dismantled easily. The barrier that surrounds it is there to prevent children from trying to climb the structure – the entry and exit points are very clearly defined.”
The flooring of the pavilion consists of recycled concrete, and the space is not air conditioned. The temperature and air flow will be regulated by interior fans and shading is offered by the nearby buildings.
“The architecture of Dubai Design District is a little sober and little mellow, so we wanted to add some life to the space, that’s why we’ve coloured the structure. The rest of the design was informed by the core values of recycling and sustainability,” said Majeed.
Meaning ‘doors’ in Arabic, the ‘Abwab’ pavilion will be completed in time for Dubai Design Week, held from 13 to 18 November, 2017.