Center of HarmonySharjah
United Arab Emirates
Design Achievement – The Center of Harmony is a visionary primary school plan in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates that will empower people with disabilities to live in harmony within a landscape of modern design. The design expands boundaries to be more inclusive regardless of individual ability through a clear vision for students to lead lives of independence, dignity, and fulfillment. The campus uses simple forms and an integration between the interior and exterior spaces to bring users from one point to another without having to separate individuals with different physical abilities into distinct groups. The use of natural, minimalist design delivers a seamless transition between the natural world and the man-made buildings on campus. Rotating windows and carved insets are incorporated to create privacy and connectivity to center courtyards. The aim of this project is to set a new standard for design through which all people can seamlessly access buildings – and thus - the Center of Harmony would no longer be needed.
Scope Summary – The scope of work for this project encompasses 13 buildings totaling approximately 750,000 SF, including an auditorium and multi-purpose hall; mosque; therapy center; severe and multiple disabilities center; Al Amal School for the Deaf; a youth independent living center; sports hall and gym; museum; and a guest house and staff accommodations. The project aims to create a harmonious composition of differing program elements on the site, while considering the most optimum cross-program relationships and adjacencies that will inform how the buildings are placed in relation to each other. Using muted materials and colors, the Center of Harmony echoes the emphasis on the fundamental belief in the beauty of natural form. DLR Group provided master planning, architecture, and interior design.