Alserkal Avenue Arts District Dubai lays its first foundation for its 250.000 ft² expansion in Al Quoz this week, doubling its size with a private investment of 50 Mln AED (13.8 Mln USD) by Alserkal family, due for completion within the second quarter of 2014.

Photo above: Abdelmonem Alserkal with the Project team / Photography by Juliette Bisset / Courtesy of Alserkal Avenue

The district has become a must-visit destination since 2007 within the region’s cultural landscape currently housing the most dynamic art spaces with International acclaim, contributing to Dubai’s stance as a commercial arts hub in the region. Growing together with the art scene of Dubai, the development was a natural response to the current demand.

First foundation marked a milestone for the development and was inaugurated by the developer of Alserkal Avenue and Patron of the Arts Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, the architect of the expansion plan Philip Logan from Shankland Cox firm, and Alserkal project team. During the ceremony the time capsule was revealed, to be displayed within the courtyard space of the future development, to include the history of Alserkal Avenue and its commitment to further foster the cultural landscape of the UAE and beyond.

Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal recognized the contribution of the current art organizations that made Alserkal Avenue into what it is today as well as the government of Dubai for their continuous support under the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai. To mark the milestone of the first concrete pour for the expansion he added: "In March of 2012 we announced Alserkal Avenue’s expansion and that too was a natural response to the ever-growing art scene. I believe that with time we will be one of the main art capitals just like New York, London and Berlin."

image Abdelmonem Alserkal signs documents that will be placed in the time capsule, Project Team / Photography by Juliette Bisset / Courtesy of Alserkal Avenue

The further development extending behind the current Alserkal Avenue will be planted in what used to be a marble factory built by Alserkal family, with its demolition completed in the past year, the site is planned to incorporate some of its unique machinery once completed, as a part of its history. The expansion will welcome an additional forty-five creative organizations complimenting its contemporary art focus with a diversified portfolio that will include architecture, media, design, and fashion concepts, adding a new dimension to its current synergy. The district will continue to support individual projects and not-for-profit spaces, such as artists studios to cultivate the creation of contemporary art. In addition, it will house alternative restaurants, coffee shops as well as indoor and outdoor events centers of 11000 ft², each equipped to host a variety of events ranging from outdoor film screenings to concerts and cultural community initiatives.

image Abdelmonem Alserkal, Jamal Abdulsalam with the Project team observe the first concrete pour / Photography by Juliette Bisset / Courtesy of Alserkal Avenue

image Expansion Site 3/ Photography by Juliette Bisset / Courtesy of Alserkal Avenue

image Expansion Site / Photography by Juliette Bisset / Courtesy of Alserkal Avenue

The architectural design prolongs the current warehouse concept with a creative twist of the butterfly roofing and environmentally friendly design; as the architect Logan explained "We avoided using standard roof lights that would contribute to solar gain resulting in higher loads. This allows us to maximize capture of North light and avoid the undesirable heavy solar gain."

The new spaces will accommodate a wider spectrum of current demand by offering units in sizes of 1500, 3000, 4000 and 6000 ft² alongside the additional car parking spaces. The official inauguration is expected to take place within the second half of next year. The total area will become half a million ft² dedicated to further strengthen the infrastructure of the art scene with its expansion being yet another step in re-enforcing Dubai’s stance as an International hub for arts and culture in the region and beyond.

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