A new sports and performing centre has recently been completed at Dubai College, a British curriculum school situated in the Al Sufouh area of Dubai, UAE.
Known as The Sports & Performing Arts Centre of Excellence (The Space) for Dubai College, the project was designed by Godwin Austen Johnson (GAJ) whose relationship with the institution spans over four decades.
The all-new Space is described as the most ambitious project of the planned upgrade of the school to date. It is located on a condensed part of the site at the back of the campus and required the demolition of the existing swimming pool and sports hall to free up valuable land for the new 5,500-sq-m development.
The central hub of The Space is a 900-sq-m multi-purpose gym with indoor running track which occupies most of the ground floor. It is supplemented by a number of flexible student spaces to foster a relationship between the physical movement and the science behind it, allowing teachers to combine the practical with the theory, according to GAJ.
Also on the ground floor is a new swimming facility which can be directly accessed from the outside without the need to go through the sports hall. It includes a 300-seat spectator viewing area, electronic touch timing system, making it ideal for galas and other water sports events.
On the first floor, the 1,100-sq-m sports hall is designed for two basketball and two netball courts with retractable bleacher-style seating for around 500 spectators.
“The size of the sports hall and its unique layout, with a show court running in the opposite direction to the second court and a dividing curtain, allows the school the flexibility and capacity to increase the number of activities and to be able to host large tournaments,” says a spokesperson for GAJ.
The performing arts was also a key consideration for The Space with the creation of a black box drama performance space with seating for 140, drama rooms, music classrooms as well as music practice areas.
A rooftop Muga court and student café have also been incorporated as well as a unique hall of fame showcasing the achievements of the school.
Key suppliers for the fit-outs of The Space included MeFitPro, Younix, Al Tayer Stocks, Ecore Flooring, Junkers Flooring, Mapei, Junckers Flooring and Fagerhult Lighting.
GAJ is one of the largest and longest-established UK architectural and design practices in the UAE.