Dezeen Magazine

Architectural render of a boxy building lit up at night

American University in Dubai presents 15 architecture projects

Dezeen School Shows: a music hall for the deaf community and an architecture typology designed for nomads are included in Dezeen's latest school show by students at the American University in Dubai.

Also included is a cultural building dedicated to Arabic dance and a tower that collects water from its facade.

American University in Dubai

School: Bachelor of Architecture in The School of Architecture, Art and Design
Course: ARCH 502, Architectural Design Studio X
Tutors: Anna Cornaro, Abdellatif Qamhaieh and Georges Kachaamy

School statement:

"This is a final capstone course in which students implement their thesis research by developing a project that incorporates all the principles of design, demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of architectural design and evidence of professional capability.

"The final outcomes of the course are exhibited in a senior showcase, where a jury of experts is invited to vote. The 2022 Architecture Senior Showcase took place online between 29 April and 3 May and concluded with a face-to-face Exhibition and Award Ceremony on 14 May.

"A jury of international experts from the industry, academia and press voted on the projects, declaring a first, second and third place as well as honourable mentions and design awards.

"A special jury led by the scientific director of the International Architecture Magazine Compasses, Andrea Pane, assigned a special award for publication.

"Another series of awards involved the local and global community, including professors, alumni, faculty members and common audience, who voted directly on social media."

Render of a large white interior with skylights

House of Silence by Yasmeen Hussein Mohd Issa

"Dubai is quite loud but not everyone can hear it. Dubai has many theatres, music halls, music events and music schools, but they don't consider or include the deaf community in the experience.

"House of Silence aims to create architecture that includes and integrates the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. This project is about sound and silence, and what happens when they meet.

"Furthermore, the project is a place that the non-deaf can visit to experience space with a deprived sense. It is a different type of architecture that suggests an experience based in their own way."

Student: Yasmeen Hussein Mohd Issa
Course: ARCH 502
Award: first place
Email: yasmeen.issa[at]

Render of a cluster of buildings with a red route in a forested area

Stitching Cultures by Priyanka Nikhil Dhurandhar

"For more than half a century, the Tibetan community in exile has faced phases of struggles throughout generations, such as challenges of cultural oppression, freedom of movement and most importantly, cultural identity.

"Through my project, I intend to not only provide platforms supporting cultural preservation and representation but simultaneously encourage both Indian and Tibetan cultures to grow and learn from one another.

"The Tibetan community and their culture have a lot to offer to the world's growth. Their compassionate and non-violent culture has demonstrated to the world community that there is another way to live, one that is in sync with human nature and respects humanity's essential oneness."

Student: Priyanka Nikhil Dhurandhar
Course: ARCH 502
Award: second place
Email: priyanka.dhurandhar[at]

Render of a stepped terraced building

Qimmah by Suood Abdulrazzaq Yousef Abdulla Aal Abdulla

"Located in Ras Al-Khaima, United Arab Emirates, this project is located on the summit of Mount Jabel Jais to be a component of a wider endeavour to develop eco-tourism that is intended to benefit the general public.

"Offering space for hikers, trekkers and visitors, this project is a fantastic place to stay for those who want to explore the area.

"The development of a mountainside community is the focus of the proposal, which will include a residential area, gym, spa facility, hiking trail, and camping area. The project's overarching purpose is to strengthen the long-term viability of the property while also safeguarding it through environmentally responsible tourism practices and other measures."

Student: Suood Abdulrazzaq Yousef Abdulla Aal Abdulla
Course: ARCH 502
Award: third place
Email: suood.aalabdulla[at]

Tower of blocks with a setting blue sky

Blur by AlHanouf AlNassar

"The concept of the project is based on converting humidity into usable water. It is located on an island, which is mostly occupied by hotels and resorts.

"The tower acts as a service facility that contains different programs and functions for the neighbouring island. The form of the tower consists of overlapping volumes that are connected through vertical steel trusses and some of the volumes are allocated for agriculture.

"In terms of materials, the main facade of the building consists of a dynamic wall system that opens and closes based on the humidity level. The facade is also covered by a mesh that collects water from humidity."

Student: AlHanouf AlNassar
Course: ARCH 502
Award: People's Choice Award and Architecture Magazine Compasses Award
Email: alhanouf.alnassar[at]

Student architectural project with pink sky background

Reinventing the Nonplace by Aya Rashwan

"Dubai's road infrastructure has grown over the years, enhancing the connectivity at the automobile scale yet dismantling the urban fabric at the human scale.

"Aside from the social and environmental drawbacks of roads, elevated highways create ill-shaped non-places. They're isolated, underutilised, and often noisy and polluted.

"The project aims to counteract the impact of the highway, stitching the urban fabric to connect the community while introducing a system to block the noise and air pollution.

"A community hub is introduced that is well-integrated into the environment through the dynamic typology. Located in al Barsha, the project occupies the non-place under al Thowima highway and extends out to the empty adjacent plots."

Student: Aya Rashwan
Course: ARCH 502
Award: Professor Award, Dr Anna Cornaro
Email: aya.rashwan[at]

Student project of a tower populated with people and a grey-brown background

UnNoticed: 12:30-3:00 by Mais Marouf

"UnNoticed is a series of tower hubs placed around the country to provide refuge for outdoor workers, including construction workers, delivery men, outdoor cleaners, and road and landscape workers during their midday break.

"The towers are designed to be noticed from afar to stress the importance of validating the efforts of these unnoticed labourers and to stand out as a landmark for workers to see and utilise.

"These hubs are available in three sizes (small, medium and large) to accommodate the needs of different areas around the city. The towers aim to create a space for the spaceless during their midday break."

Student: Mais Marouf
Course: ARCH 502
Award: Professor Award, Dr Georges Kachaamy
Email: maisalrim.marouf[at]

Architectural render of a boxy building lit up at night

Stalactite by Adam Maher Meziou

"Located in an industrial area, Stalactite invites a new audience by introducing a variety of activities through an entertainment-rich program, starring video gaming and e-sports.

"The main form has tapering structures from the ground-up as well as from the top-down, similar to the stalagmites and stalactites of a cavern.

"The main concept derives from the maps of typical 2D video games. The player moves along a path that may diverge into multiple directions, from which they may decide to either resume the main path or divert.

"Through this, an apparent gravity-defiant architecture of exploration and curiosity is achieved."

Student: Adam Maher Meziou
Course: ARCH 502
Award: honourable mention
Email: adam.meziou[at]

Isometric render of an architectural intervention by the sea with hot air balloons

No-mads' Land: an Archipelago for 21st Century Nomads by Nadine Ammar

"Situated in Dubai Design District, No-Mads' Land responds to the phenomena of nomadism in the 21st century and the implication of migration and movement in human behaviour, which challenges the definition and treatment of spaces, architecture and the fabric of our cities as fixed and permanent.

"Acknowledging the nomadic experience that manifests itself in various modes and nuances, No-Mads' Land is conceived as an archipelago that challenges the permanence of our built environment by catering to the transient nature of human activity.

"No-Mads' Land serves as an embodiment of the tangible and intangible ephemerality of human existence through the design of space and the architecture – the vessel – as temporary, mobile, flexible and adaptable."

Student: Nadine Ammar
Course: ARCH 502
Award: Faculty & Alumni Award
Email: nadine.ammar[at]

Collage of a terrace space

Reviving Peaks: A Quarry Rehabilitation by Ayesha AlSuwaidi

"In the UAE, forms of landscape alterations in natural contexts are being overlooked. Quarries, which are frequently left abandoned after their exploitation, are beyond damage. Often, such processes pull spaces away from the culture that blooms within them.

"Therefore, the project acts as an intervention that brings culture back to where culture has been taken away. The quarry is transformed into a cultural and artistic destination by analysing the morphology of components of a traditional neighbourhood.

"A fundamental concept is that the quarry's life cycle be reversed. The notion could be realised through the use of reversible architecture that could return to nature with the least possible harm. The concept honours the quarry's industrial background while also embracing its present identity, fusing two eras into one."

Student: Ayesha AlSuwaidi
Course: ARCH 502
Award: honourable mention
Email: ayesha.alsuwaidi1[at]

3D model of a city landscape in black and white with a colourful circle overlay in the centre

Esoteria: Bazaar of the Mystics by Farah Sherif Ali

"In our disenchanted world, we must pursue enchantment. Through the close examination of the mystic, a character profile of the Masters of the Esoteric Place wass designed and aligned with plausible visitors.

"These form auras arranged from JBR, crossing over the BlueWaters bridge, before dipping below the water. A ramp then winds around the auras to create a wondrous journey.

"A repository of esoteric teachings will educate and a contemplation retreat will encourage investigation. The goal is to create a fantastical, otherworldly experience, a feast for the senses and the spirit."

Student: Farah Sherif Ali
Course: ARCH 502
Award: honourable mention
Email: farah.ali22[at]

3D model of a staggered tower

Enkidu by Dheyaa Ahmed Dheyaa

"Enkidu tries to understand death and the afterlife from a multifaceted perspective. It interconnects the different aspects to achieve a holistic view of the subject.

"Numerous philosophical and religious themes are distilled from the thorough research: the passage of time, links with nature, the duality of death, death's ritualistic journey.

"All of this, and a key focus on ascension, helped guide the design of the project and solve practical spatial and social problems associated with the topic, such as space wastage on an urban scale, sociocultural disconnection from death and reviving the urban aspect of cemeteries."

Student: Dheyaa Ahmed Dheyaa
Course: ARCH 502
Award: Innovative Design Award
Email: dheyaa.dheyaa[at]

Colourful sprawling building over water at night

Baqala: The Social Hypermarket by Elham Al-Dweik

"Baqala: The Social Hypermarket combines retail and transportation. Lodged in between different spaces in, on, and around The Emirates Towers Metro Station, the project aims to provide more accessible and democratic commercial spaces for the daily commuters of the station.

"The antithesis of the car-centric hypermarket, Baqala superimposes itself on this intermodal space that can be accessed using different modes of transportation, such as bus, car, metro and pedestrian access.

"Different spaces and spatial layouts are created depending on the vicinity of the mode of transportation and the average time it needs to arrive."

Student: Elham Al-Dweik
Course: ARCH 502
Award: Professor Award, Dr Abdellatif Qamhaieh
Email: elham.aldweik[at]

Bridge building over a river

Hamil by Raeesa AlHattawi

"Throughout the year, a shortage of appropriate and sustainable water has been an issue in the culturally rich town of Hatta in Dubai. This issue is particularly significant in this community, which is blessed with a wealth of natural resources, including a lake.

"A dam that also functions as a bridge divides Swan Lake into two sections. The upstream of the dam holds a lot of water and is where the lake's wildlife thrives. The downstream side is the driest, so the location is not a tourist destination.

"This project intends to build a structure that serves the community, collects rainwater, provides pedestrian-friendly access and makes the area more sustainable through farming and recreation."

Student: Raeesa AlHattawi
Course: ARCH 502
Award: Sustainable Design Award
Email: raeesa.alhattawi[at]

Outdoor amphitheatre design with a circular stage and square buildings

Dance by Sham Sarraj

"Music, dancing and performing arts are important for making a city a cultural centre. This project intends to put Dubai on the map in the dancing community.

"The project is a building dedicated to accommodating Arabic dance. Excluding the location of the site, dancing in the western world has been in the spotlight for centuries, while dancing in the Arab region has been somewhat overlooked, concealed or at least not as widely and popularly celebrated.

"The project aims to cover all types of dances in the Arab region through training, showcasing and performing with the purpose of catering to all, including the dancer, the spectator and the choreographer."

Student: Sham Sarraj
Course: ARCH 502
Award: Heritage Design Award
Email: sham.sarraj[at]

Red route intervention on a gridded city layout

Proximities by Hiba Salah Ali Dabash

"A 15-minute neighbourhood is one where all the necessary amenities of its residents are accessible either by walking, biking or using the public transportation within a radius of one kilometre. Proximities does just that.

"The project enhances an existing neighbourhood by providing the missing needs and focusing on walkability. The aim is to connect the Umm Suqeim neighbourhood by building at its centre a community centre that provides all the missing needs of the area.

"It adds the missing recreational facilities, including sports facilities, retail, art exhibition and a library. Proximity to all amenities within 15 minutes of people's homes is the main aim."

Student: Hiba Salah Ali Dabash
Course: ARCH 502
Award: Community Design Award
Email: hiba.dabash[at]

Partnership content

This school show is a partnership between Dezeen and the American University in Dubai. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.