Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

GEMS World Academy, Al Barsha South, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Exemplary design categories: community use and involvement, flexible learning settings, library/media/resource centre, sporting facilities

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
The aim of this project is to create a dynamic and innovative educational setting for students from different cultures and background: a “Learning Heaven for the 21st Century”. The campus also seeks to provide a place where students and their families can participate in on-campus activities before and after traditional school hours as well as eat together. The design of the building - through its meandering form and flowing roof - is evocative of the desert landscape and undulating sand dunes, creating a light and inspiring space for the school community. Reminiscent of the desert skyline, the façade is punctuated by light-boxes which glow at sunset and coloured blue to reflect the sky.

GWA Discovery World is at the heart of the school with a large library and study zones. Here, students have access to computer rooms, science rooms, robotics lab, planetarium, design and technology studios and the curriculum resource center. It is an exciting and comfortable meeting space that provides for individual study, small group interaction and larger group seminars.

Involvement of users and the local community in the planning and design process:
Since there was no local community developed to assist in design, other leaders from existing schools were able to input ideas and formulate plans to build GWA.

Activity Areas: Classrooms, public areas, library, planetarium and sports facilities (including a 400m athletics track, tennis courts, 660 seat auditorium, cafeteria, swimming pool, squash courts)

Project costs: AED 500,000,000.00

Source: Submitted to OECD for "Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011" in 2010

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Images (5)

Drawings (4)

Ground Floor Plan (Registration required)
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Credit: CPG Consultants Pte Ltd
Section A (Registration required)
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Credit: CPG Consultants Pte Ltd
Location Plan (Registration required)
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Credit: CPG Consultants Pte Ltd
Furniture Plan (Registration required)
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Credit: CPG Consultants Pte Ltd