Dubai’s Amphitheathre & Camel Racetrack

Thomas Hopkins
Bartlett School of Architecture

A multi-disciplinary sports complex & camel track located at the centre of the old creek district of Dubai designed by Thomas Hopkins at Bartlett School of Architecture.

The design accommodates types of racetracks and sports facilities, tailored for the population demographics. These playing fields and tracks are amalgamated and fused into a programmatic proposition readdressing the conventional organisation of sports facilities. 

The notion of thresholds between the internal and external is explored through a series of precision analogue/digital models which help explain the spatial dialogue happening between the two realms.

Solar gain and complex geometry are holistic themes within this project, helping to create interstitial spaces, interconnecting different playing fields and race tracks whilst also providing shelter from the extreme climatic conditions of Dubai.

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Novel geometries are used to enhance and optimise the organisation of space and comfort within it, questioning the boundaries between external and internal.

The varying patternisation within the canopies, inspired by the composition of ancient Mashrabiyas, is optimised according to solar gain within specific time periods to achieve environmental thermal comfort through the use of non-deterministic and performance-based design.

The typo-morphologies subsequently produced, optimised with novel geometries, help to create a new composition of space leading to a more homogenous integration of the building within its landscape. This subsequently opens up the possibilities for new and different designs, questioning the way we understand our built environment.