PROJECT / A leading UAE- based businessman and philanthropist hired Italian Architect Antonio Pio Saracino to conceive a design for a Museum of Photography in Dubai. The design for the Museum of Photography upholds the intention for “Dubai to become an international, pioneering hub of excellence and creativity.” The project draws its architectural design from the regional cultural heritage, thus creating an iconic project, powerfully visible from surrounding high-rises as well as from the sky. The Museum of Photography is conceptually inspired by the primary icons of Dubai. Thus, it features the abstract shape of a recognizable symbol of the eye. Individuals enjoying flying over the city will be enthralled by this project. In order to amaze the public from all over the world that are flying over Dubai, the Museum of Photography employs a dynamic visual mechanism on its roof that changes depending on the angle of viewing from above.
The Museum’s sloped roof has a series of dimensional panels that, from different points of view, compose the image of Sheikh Mohammed from one viewing angle and the image of a falcon from the opposite viewing angle. The images of the Museum roof will change depending on the angle from where they are seen (land or sky). The circular plan of the museum supports exhibition galleries organized in rays, like a photographic diaphragm and an Islamic geometric drawing, around the plan spread over two floors. Some of the walls around the rays are movable allowing the exhibition space to transform into a performance space. The plaza around the museum is comprised of eight free standing buildings for commercial purposes together with one service building. A large canopy and trees provide shades for the guests of the restaurants and cafes that are welcome in the outdoor public spaces. At night the Museum will illuminate the sky from its roof with a system of lamps projecting a photographic cone of light. The word “photography” comes from the Greek roots φωτός (phōtos) “light” and γραφή (graphé) “representation by means of lines”. In the same manner that the image in a camera is created from a cone of light, the cone of lights on the roof of the Museum symbolically display the images that are created on the roof and are, seemingly, projected from the sky.