Both a headquarters complex and a public, media-immersive, multi-sensory experience, this development blends ideas derived from traditional Arab culture with models for new media environments.
Equivalent in size to three New York City blocks, the complex is broken down into a series of program-based frames. The plan distributes the various subsidiaries of the Abu Dhabi Media Company, ranging from print media to radio to television to film, throughout the complex, in addition to other program elements such as executive offices and prayer rooms. The careful weaving together of these frames creates a variety of interstitial spaces, including an interior pedestrian street that recalls the experience of the souk, or traditional Arab marketplace.
In the same way that one moves from stall to stall or vendor to vendor through a marketplace, the Media Souk allows for varying levels of engagement. One can simply experience the atmosphere and absorb the sounds of the space, stop and interact with the merchandise or product on display, or even become part of the action, contributing video clips that become part of a media wall. The presence of music and food all combine to create the experience, making it multi-sensory and multi-dimensional rather than purely visual. This complex, work/play environment makes for a new kind of community for Abu Dhabi, offering a modern environment rooted in its cultural context.