The Cube

Kingdom of Bahrain
Cube project by night global view Cube project side view with the bridge The Cube masterplan The Cube East West section

Client:

Mission: 
Concours
Date: 
2004
Team: 
Clé Millet (architecte)

The architectural concept proposes an alternative solution to escape from the scheme of the tower. Indeed, the skyscrapers,which have been developed for different countries, doesn’t seemto match perfectly with the Bahraini context.An objective approach of the local constraints leads to the followingconclusion:

- A hard climatic environment requires sheltered housing, which can onlybring economic assets for the air treatment.

- No real asset of the urban context, except a far view on the sea shore,with remains fragile due to the development of the area.

- Historic culture and way of living enhance the privacy of the familyunit.

Creating a gap with the usual tower-shaped proposals, the concept tends toanswer with priority to those particularities.

4 major points are developed:

- All the housing and offices area will be settled behind a protective screen, to regulate the sun lighting,with no restriction of view. Thedensity of this filter is adapted to the use of the premises, and the will toshow or hide what is inside. This flexible opacity defines the aestheticalimage of the building.

- The whole building is implemented around a large patio, like an oasis in the heart of the city. It will provide:

§ Climatic comfort through the shadow, the shelter from strong wind, and the natural ventilation from the basement.

§ Acoustic protection facing the noise disturbance of the causeway.

§ Environmental and visual assets by the dramatic and preserved interior garden.

- Vertical stratifications of the different functions of the brief.

§ The basement is occupied with 4 floors of car park.

§ The commercial mall stands on the patio ground floor and a peripheral mezzanine. On the top of the central part of the commercial area stands the inner garden. Several slabs are standing above the patio for leisure activities.

§ The upper levels provide offices area on the north and flats on the south. All flats are double storeys, providing openings both on the patio and on the outside; therefore a distribution corridor appears every three levels.

§ On the top of the building lay the Health centre on the north, and HVAC central production on the south

- The “Cube” can provide access on each of its side, and is traversed by a major north-south axis that leads through the commercial mall, and connects the first phase building to the second development of the south plot, via a light bridge.

A vast gate is the attraction to the inside of the Cube, and the connexion between the city context and the inner privacy of the patio. The gate opens the view from the street to the density of the green

luxurious oasis, so that can be seized the contrast between two complementary areas.