Crossing Of the Coast

DesignerSomayeh Ghorbani
Prize1st Place in Architecture Categories / Other Architectural Designs
Project LinkView
Entry Description

Project Brief: Why are old, ruined buildings of the past still ever so fascinating? Ancient landmarks have always attracted people from all over the world for generations to marvel at its beauty. There is something about the cracked walls and broken facades that narrate the story of its own history and time. These monuments show the power and importance of the regions they belong to. From my experience, for the first time going into the depth of the ocean and seeing a broken boat that was lying there for many years was a mirror of those historical monuments and landmarks that withstood the test of time. The old broken elements such as traditional wooden boats remaining from the past can be inspiration in architecture to design a fish market that pictures the history of three important traditional professions of the United Arab Emirates. The people involved in these professions laid the primary foundation of the United Arab Emirates by going to the sea for catching fish, pearling, or building boats. These were the fisherpersons, boat builder, and pearl divers who lived on or by the sea. Today’s young generations of the UAE have lost their interest in traditional fishing, diving and old ways of boat building. These are the traditional professions of the UAE that are now nearly lost. Moreover, the current Fish markets in the UAE are losing their appeal and authenticity by moving the market to large supermarkets. This leads young generation to be disconnected from their own heritage. Project Goal: My objective is to bring back people to their own heritage by designing a fish market that makes a central point of a complex that includes a maritime museum, fishing and diving centers, educational crafting centers, seafood restaurants, as well as Dubai Creek customs for the incoming vessels. These programs are connected to each other by bridge crossing the central Fish market. This allows the visitors to be connected to the Fish market as they move from one program to another. The bridges are elevated so that the visitors can experience the ambience of the Fish market not only from a horizontal level but also from a vertical viewpoint. In order to take the people back to the sea, the sea itself is forming the main part of the design, surrounding the Fish market. This conveys a sense of unity with the traditional Fish markets of the past that were located at the shores of the Creek. This project will engage young generation with the history and it is an appreciation of the “Father of the Coast”.

About Designer

Somayeh Ghorbani Salehi has finished a five-year bachelor degree in architecture at the American University in Dubai (AUD) in spring 2016. Prior to studying at AUD, she studied one full year of Architectural Technology at CUNY--New York City College of Technology, and one full year of General Education at Massasoit Community College (Brockton, MA, USA). As part of her degree requirements at AUD, she also worked at a well-known architectural firm in Dubai, the X-Architects (, as an intern during summer of 2015. At the X-Architects, she had the opportunity to work with a team who were working on Sheikh Mohamed Bin Khalifa heritage house (a United Arab Emirate’s leader). The aim of the project was to create a new extension on the old existing building as well as preserving the historical part. This was an exciting opportunity for her to work on a real project and develop skills on how modern and old architectural elements can be made to coexist. Apart from her profession, she loves to travel and explore the world’s architectures and cultures. She has traveled to East Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America and visited countries such as Japan, Korea, and Canada as well as having had significance exposure to different cultures, including Iran, the United Arab Emirates, and the USA. Somayeh is very proactive and cares about being healthy and doing workouts with her favorite activity being bodybuilding; she also likes to promote healthy eating to others by posting her diet plans and workout videos on Instagram and other social media.