Opera District

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

client: Emaar Properties

The new Opera District celebrates the adjacent spectacle of the world’s tallest building, while embracing the rhythm of everyday life. For three distinct mixed-use areas within the nearly 100,000-square-meter District anchored by the namesake opera house, SWA’s layered landscape architecture provides visual and experiential coherence using the concept of a musical score as an overall design generator. This theme extends throughout residential, retail, boulevard, promenade, event, and park spaces. The landscape layout references a musical staff in three sections running from west to east, upon which the paving and furniture designs (or “notes”) are organized and presented. In addition, a green ribbon threads from north to south throughout the District, gathering the buildings and plazas in its loose embrace. This harmonious yet flexible whole sets the stage for activating the “people space” requested by the client, areas which are modeled in spirit after European squares.