Gate Avenue Overview
The Gate Avenue at DIFC is an 880m long walkway that will connect all the building podiums within the district, from the Gate Building in the North to the primarily residential district in the South. It will encompass 660,000 sq ft of built up area.
The architect’s brief was to develop the Gate Avenue at DIFC into a unique cultural experience in the region and to enhance the resident and visitor experience through vibrant retail and sophisticated dining, all connected by an open-air promenade and relaxed parkland environment.
Architects RMJM has incorporated a series of miniature Gates within Gate Avenue, which reference the iconic Gate Building. These Gates will link the indoor retail mix with the promenade level as well as integrating the inner and outer environments through vertical circulation and visual connectivity. They will also ‘extend the DIFC marque throughout the estate’.
A varied retail environment will run through three integrated zones connected by the promenade level. The North Zone, located adjacent to the Gate Building, will serve as a meeting point for business professionals, featuring luxury and exclusive retail outlets.
In the Central Zone, with a convenient connection to the DIFC metro, the retail offering will be focused on high-street brands with a wide range of indoor and al fresco restaurants.
At the primarily residential South Zone, the two level retail mix along with the different facilities will be designed to create a family friendly community experience.
The outdoor promenade level with its unique planting, shading structures and kiosks, will also provide an elegant and engaging environment for people to enjoy day and night.
Towards the southern end of Gate Avenue an emblematic mosque will complete the sequence of buildings that stand on the promenade level. The architect was asked to create a new vernacular for mosque design in the UAE; a beacon of modern Islamic design that makes reference to tradition by reinterpreting the essence of traditional mosque design in the contemporary context: in essence “to create a simple exterior and a fabulous interior”.
The mosque will have a simple structure enveloped by a screen with graduated perforations allowing light to bathe the interior space which is revealed when approaching from the outside. The materials and products used in the design will express the qualities of integrity, durability and humility.
Gate Avenue will also host cultural events, live performances and festivals with the gates providing a backdrop for digital projections.
Gate Avenue Amenities
In June 2018 DIFC announced plans for a new mosque in Gate Avenue. To be known as the DIFC Grand Mosque
With a capacity of over 500 worshippers and a gross floor area of 14,500 sq ft, the Grand Mosque will be accessible 24 hours a day and serve the five daily prayer times, Friday and Ramadan prayers.
The architecture creates a new vernacular for mosques in the UAE. The building form is a simple cube within a cube, reflecting the landmark Gate Building of DIFC. The exterior is minimal, but the interior will be more elaborate with an expansive main chandelier inspired by the traditional Muqarnas (literally ‘stalactite vaults’).
The outer cubist form will employ a hanging mashrabiya screen which will provide shade and privacy to certain areas whilst opening up at the public areas to allow visitors to see the intricate detail of the interior. It will use a geometric Islamic pattern that creates openings of different sizes and intensities depending on the function of the space behind the screen.
The Mosque is scheduled to open in 2019.
The Dh500 million contract for construction and land preparation was awarded to the Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG) in October 2016.
By December 2017 construction was 85% complete. Completion of the first phase was on track for the first half of 2018. Retail units were being handed over to tenants, and fit out work on several units had already started
The concrete structure was 95% complete, and blockwork installation 80% complete.
Stone paving and planting of the soft cape was also well underway.
Gate Avenue Buildings
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