Parametric Dubai: Poly.Wi.Phi.City
Wi-Fi networks, in addition to existing in almost every metropolitan around the world, are invisible; do not contribute to the “image” of Dubai, at least not directly. The signal coverage area acts as an extension to an enclosed space whether that was a living room, a meeting room in an office or even a retail space. Within the city, multiple Wi-Fi networks from different sources overlap bringing programs out from behind walls and into the observer’s personal space. However, there seems to be a huge gap between the virtual wireless world and the physical junk spaces in Dubai. The project attempts to translate an advanced complex e-world into a physical built spatial condition creating harmonious existence between the event: driving through the city. Geometrical relationships start to emerge together with new invisible boundaries. The boundaries react physically to a new point accessing the system. They rotate clockwise/anti clockwise and consequently shift upwards/downwards. The boundaries fold, cut through or merge depending on their frequencies/channels. An access point with a higher frequency cuts through one with a lower frequency creating a fold. Merging takes place if the two boundaries share the same frequency. The activators and affected boundaries eventually freeze as the chain effect proceeds to other levels.
The pods happen across the city and house a generic office space where each office, depending on its area/view advantage, is required to share a portion of its bandwidth with surrounding lobbies. The structure provides the public with a network where open source collaborations, forums, discussions and LAN gaming takes place. Subscribing to storage space and leasing software licenses will also be possible. These pods are eventually able to share information, such as traffic conditions; they form their own network. They can also act as transition where information is sent through them to another station then eventually to its receiver. The signal is transmitted across the building through reflector panels that mirror the signal to a specific location(s). The pods reflect the Wi-Fi density of the city. The vertical circulation elements i.e. stairs are all separated from the planes and do not interfere with the operations: actions + reactions that are happening. The same happens with piping and electrical systems. This project was awarded the Young Architect Award at Cityscape Dubai 2009, 3rd place at the 2A International Students and Young Architects Competition and the Sharjah Islamic Bank research award 2008-09.