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Press Kit | no. 1136-03
Press release only in English
The facility includes a Chelation Clinic, Integrated Dental Domes, a Healing Clinic and individual Bungalows for patient’s private residence. Overlooking Al Ain Lake and the oasis surroundings, the tower rests to the ground on pilotis which minimizes impacts on coast line. Likewise, offshore bungalows frees the littoral from construction.
Planted with a wide variety of reeds and papyrus, the shore attracts all types of aquatic birds, fish, frogs, reptiles and many others insects’ species. This alternative medicine center combines wild life discovery, nature conservancy and outdoors activities as part of patients’ healing process.
Until Sheikh Zayed's death in 2004, Al-Ain's municipal code forbade over four storeys constructions (except for the Hilton and Rotana hotels). In 2006 the goal for the municipality was to create a flagship image embodying progress (science (medicine), high-technology) at the service of nature preservation and/or recovery.
An external textile veil shelters the entire tower like a loose cap. This shielding layer generates a buffer air zone protecting the building facade from the outside heat. This zone inflated by constant air flows circulation allows natural cooling control and additional shading protection. The parachute veil is layered over a super-pressure balloon which crowns the tower. The size of the balloon changes according to needs, allowing the buffer air zone to increase in size or retract (the expanded air zone between the veil and the façade grows when more air is insufflated into the super pressure balloon). Air coming from underground cool thermal mass allows to refresh the air contained by the veil, to temperate the building temperature which reduces air conditioning consumption and maximizes patient comfort. At night the veil may be lifted up and the balloon deflated.
The early version of the project used the concept of a spinnaker functioning as a headsail protecting the building from direct sunlight and rotating around the it with the sun trajectory. Ascending hot air keeps the spinnaker up in the air (see early renderings). For practical reasons, a parachute covering an insufflated balloon was easier to control under wind storm and to manage since it has a constant position throughout the day.
The project took 8 years to develop, started in 2006, put on hold from 2007 until 2014 when it was definitely stopped. The design could only be partially published in 2016.
Date: 2006 - 2014.
Location: (Emirates Al Maha Desert Eco Resort & Spa.) Al Ain Oasis, Dubai, UAE.
Client (2006): ITAD (Minneapolis-Dubai) - PARISii Holding LCC (Paris-Dubai).
Local architect: Qattan Architects, Kuwait City, Kuwait.
Dubai World Class Medical Clinics (2006-2014).
PB+Co: Philippe Barriere (concept and design) with/Matthew R. Pauly.
Engineers for the Bungalows Residence: Steve Huey, Wallace engineering, Kansas City. Mo (US). (2006).
Manufacture & engineering for the bungalows: A.Zahner.co, Kansas City. Mo. (2006).
Super pressure balloon: Raven Aerostar, Sioux Falls, SD 57104, US.
Bungalows (inflatable skin (see later tensairity version 2014)) and Tower: Builder International – Buildair HQ, Barcelona (Spain).
Philippe Barriere Collective (PB+Co)
Barriere Philippe Ph.D
Founder, Philippe Barriere Collective (PB+Co)
Adnen Ben Tanfous
Facebook: Philippe Barrier Collective (PB+Co).
Address Philippe Barriere Collective (PB+Co) in Tunisia:
11 rue d’ Alger Nouvelle Medina 3, Ben Arous, Tunis.
Phone: 00 216 27746277.
Hoang Dang, Line Braley, Adam Morehead, Adam Felchner, Adam Kruvand, Gregory Cuddihee, Eddie Chiu-Fai Can, Stanley Lau, Yoon Soon, Dawood Al-Qattan, Jeremy , Christian Kerrigan, Courtney Allan, Sean Mongey, Patrick Baustian, Patrick Smithson, Keith van Reit, Nathan Freise, Carl Kessler, Clarisa Diaz, Steve Bagwell, Dan Brown, Bryan Ness, Matthew R. Pauly, Liz Kelsey, Will Schenck, Park Barker, Devon Norton, Kai Sun Luk, Justin Kreikemeier, Ashlen William, Hoi Wang Chan, Lai Kuong Hou.
François Riverin, Julien Cordier, Thibault Maugard, Amandine Isordi, Paul Durand, Alexandre Guilbault, Olivier Jacques, David Giraldeau, Georges Abou-Atmé, Julien Beauchamp Roy, Marjorie Bradley Vidal, Sergio Castano, Jessica Daoust, Charles Gretas, Guillaume Laurin, Christelle Montreuil Jean-Pois, Pascale Pierre (ing.), Yoann Plourde, Samuel Pouliot, Hugues St.-Hilaire, Ottavy Thibault, Jonathan Lajchter, Catherine Bouchard, Alexandre Hamlyn, Emmanuelle Cardu Gobeille, Magdeleine Audrerie, David D.Boisseau
Lequeux (Associate), Nicolas Wojcik, Jonathan Lajchter, Sébastien Lequeux, Manon Dantan.
Adnen Ben Tanfous (Associate Partner), Asma Haddouk, Samir Issad, Kaouther Moussa, Bahroun Khaoula, Abbassi Ibrahim, Amine Torchani, Mahmoud Abassi, Abderrahmen Ezzine, Vicky Tessier.
© 2016 Philippe Barriere Collective (PB+Co) All rights reserved
Philippe Barrière Collective (PB+Co)
In the face of environmental crisis and globalization, architecture is becoming indispensable as an instrument to reconcile man with his (cultural, social and environmental) milieu, by either re-investing in this milieu to mitigate the structural deficiencies and/or by fostering its recovery. Taking this view, architecture is an ongoing experiment that constantly adjusts to contextual needs, implementing the new strategic and innovative interventions necessary to improve on man’s milieu; a process that redefines architecture.
This approach provokes architecture to become a threshold over which or, a ‘channel’ through which to renegotiate the relation between man and nature and a ‘focal point’ for reducing the imbalance between extremes (social and environmental). Architecture becomes second nature, man’s link between human nature, environment and society guaranteeing equilibrium and integrity even in the midst of the crises that transformed them.
Therefore what drives our specific approach to designing projects are some of the unanswered questions being posed in their environment. These questions force us to better understand our hopes and the need for change, both which must guarantee progress and emancipation. Each project aims to contribute to defining this hope and to avoiding potential constraints by answering them.
The process creates architecture which is built on concepts that are based on the beneficial effects they will have on the built environment. Instead of being part of a problem it represents a part of a solution.
For the critic Joan Ockman the Collective work “takes on the contradictions of today without being so naïve as to try to surmount them, and without being so cynical as to merely parody them. The work acknowledges that we are what we consume, and it takes responsibility for this. …The name for such an approach to architecture is radical realism. Philippe Barrière is its magician and surgeon.” (1).
Philippe Barrière Collective (PB+Co) Bio
Challenging both theory and practice, the Collective has developed a forward-thinking expertise addressing suburbanization (i.e. ParkUrbia), the Interstate Highway System (i.e. Infrastructure Architecture), social and humanitarian issues such as homelessness, refugee camps and health crises. More recently it has developed the concept of Hybrid Architecture (i.e High-Low Tech) in the Maghreb.
The Collective integrates highly competent specialists and manufacturers early in the design process to develop simple, efficient, practical and highly sophisticated cutting edge solutions. It has developed a long time working relation with the renowned engineering and fabrication company like A. Zahner co. and called out aerospace technology manufacture specialists (Beechcraft, Cessna, Boeing) for innovative technical solutions.
State president advisers, international institutions (UNWRA, CTC.. etc), private foundations, NGO, local communities, social entrepreneurs and private and corporate clients have trusted the collective to provide them with unique solutions ( see projects list below).
The work of the Collective has been widely exhibited and published worldwide in magazines and websites and exhibitions (see publication and exhibition list below). In 2011 the research and the work of the collective were published a book titled Resolution: Repositioning the Relation between Man and Nature by A&J Publishers (English and Chinese). In October 2011 the book was RIBA bookstore bestsellers in the Sustainability, Energy Efficiency and Green Buildings section and later in December “le Prix Spécial” from ESA (École Spéciale d’Architecture de Paris).
- In 1990 Philippe Barriere started a design studio in New York City (Philippe Barriere Studio), where he got his firsts commissions among them the live Music Restaurant
- In 1996 the Studio move to various locations in North America to become Philippe Barriere Collective (PB+Co), always in connection with the Paris office until 2014.
The Collective has always benefited from the academic research Philippe Barriere developed within the design studio he taught in various Universities (see biography).
- In 2014 the Collective started officially a new branch with a registration in Tunis with Adnen Ben Tanfous as An Associate Partner, where it was already working since 2012.
The Collective has worked on projects in the USA as well as France, Dubai, Palestinian Territories (West Bank), Kenya, Haiti, England, Canada, Crete, Morocco and Tunisia.
Bio Philippe Barrière
Philippe Barrière has engaged in a wide range of activities in the professional, non-profit and academic realm; on national and international levels; and as an architect, architecture critic, urban planner, associate professor and architecture historian.
Philippe received his degree in architecture from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He was granted a scholarship to study at two American graduate programs, at Cranbrook Academy of Art and Cornell University. He received a Master of Sciences in Urban Planning from the Institut d'Urbanisme de Paris, followed by a Master and a Doctorate in Art History at the University Panthéon Sorbonne (Paris).
He worked in the USA as well as France, Venezuela, the French West Indies, the Middle East, Palestinian Territories (West Bank), Kenya, Canada, Morocco and Tunisia. He completed his Master’s Degree in architecture at Pratt Institute in New York, where he worked in offices and later started his own design practice. His writings have been widely published in l’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, Archi-Cree and other publications; his work and the work of his students has been widely exhibited and published worldwide. He has taught at the New York Institute of Technology, Parsons School of Design, the University of Texas at Arlington, l’ Université de Montréal, Drury University, the University of Kansas, l’Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture de Paris, l’Ecole d’ Architecture de Université Laval de Québec and l’Université Ibn Khaldoun de Tunis.
In 1990 he started a design firm in New York (Philippe Barriere Studio)(see Philippe Barriere Collective Bio).
Philippe was made a Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature (Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lèttres), an honor bestowed on him by the French Ministry of Culture for his contribution and achievements as an architect in the field of architecture.
Selected critic review
The truly beautiful projects are singular augmentations of the landscape, as found and as built. Each adds not simply an architectural supplement but some social enlargement that changes our view of place. Philippe Barriere strides with gentle, elegant, resolution across the field of life, punctuating the environment with moments of brilliant and mysterious precision.
- Michael Sorkin, Architect, Contributing Editor for Architectural Record, I.D., and Metropolis.
The work …. is visionary. It takes on the contradictions of today without being so naive as to try to surmount them, and without being so cynical as to merely parody them. The work acknowledges that we are what we consume, and it takes responsibility for this. These problems crave resolutions that show intense imagination and allow for delicate healing. The name for such an approach to architecture is realism. Philippe Barriere is its magician and surgeon.
- Joan Ockman, historian, critic, educator, former director of the Buell Center for the Study of ‘radical’ American Architecture at Columbia University.
The architecture of Philippe Barriere magically attaches itself to the commonplace: confronting, enlarging and transforming our understanding of the world and ultimately ourselves.
- William Menking, Executive editor, the Architects’ Newspaper.
Philippe has one of the most brilliant intellectual minds I have ever encountered …. . He considers architecture a tool for social, cultural and environmental change. In-depth research and a profound thought process are at the basis of all his work. This results in an exceptional intellectual content and underpins his outstanding accomplishments in architecture.
- Peter Pran, Design Partner, FAIA, MNAL at Peter Pran + H Architects LLC.
The projects are lead and brought to a successful conclusion with rigor, precision and intelligence, from the analysis of the conditions of the subject up to the detailed resolution of the project and the elaboration of its graphic representation and aesthetic. This process is impressive.
- Odile Decq, Studio Odile Decq, Former Director École Spéciale d’Architecture de Paris.
List of selected projects:
For more information
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