Location: Damascus, Syria
Date: 2010-2011
Client: CONFIDENTIAL
Status: CONCEPT DESIGN
Size: 3762 SQM ROOFLIGHT AREA
Credits:
ACME Team (Stefano Dal Piva, Friedrich Ludewig, Keigo Yoshida)

Damas Mall is part of a 100 hectare masterplan for a new town located along the route between Damascus and Beirut. The rooflight is located in the central indoor courtyard of the shopping mall that is directly linked to the outdoor town central square, and marks one of the main access routes to the mall. The client’s aspirations were to provide a cover for the mall’s central space with a strong architectural character but also with a simple construction method using materials and skills available locally. It was proposed to reinterpret Syrian traditional architectural elements, such as arches and vaults, in order to create a form that is both contemporary and rooted in Syrian culture. The project consists of an array of parabolic vaults parallel to the long side of the courtyard. The vaults are supported by flared columns to form arches lengthwise. The canopy is strewn with small openings to allow daylight, in the style of the domed ceilings of traditional Damascus hammams. The project is conceived as a thin concrete shell where the vaults form ribs providing intrinsic strength to the structure.