Competition Bab

Sense of place and belonging

The Hub of Manama attempts to redefine and revitalize the competition area into a thriving space for public use coupled with commercial activity to support the area to ensure it does not become “monotone” whilst at the same time giving it a strong architectural identity as a “cultural hub”.

A simple reconfiguration of hierarchy of programmes and by seamlessly blending the site with the surrounding urban context ensures that the site is reconfigured into a “social generator”.

In our proposal the area of the site now becomes a melting pot of social programmes and activities. It contains a mix of programmes for the public including retail / commercial areas to ensure that the new square is used on a daily basis, income generated assists with the up keep of the area and creates round the clock vibrancy.

The new cube building with its inherent programmes and social activities is strategically placed along important site lines and well connected to proposed pedestrian networks. Whether one approaches the site from the South, North, East or West, by walking or by vehicle one can quickly recognize the symbolic nature of the cube building and are guided towards the building due to its appearance and architectural curiosity.

The hub now becomes a place to go to, out of necessity (post office), a place to visit for the public and tourists (museums, archive) and a place to retreat to for an espresso or a bite to eat (retail, shopping, restaurants). It becomes a social generator creating a space for social exchanges and ideas to flourish further extenuating the sense of place and the “city Vibe” that is witnessed on BAB Al Bahrain Avenue.