July 1, 2011

Desert Oasis: The Pavillion Downtown Dubai Is A Magnet For The Art World

Twin 28-year-old brothers Ahmed and Rashid Bin Shabib, planning to open the multipurpose Pavilion Downtown Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, had just one modest request for Studio M. “It had to be a magnet for the art community,” principal Abboud Malak recalls. So far, so good. The single-level, 14,000-square-foot space’s two galleries have kept the cognoscenti occupied with local and international artists—recently Charlie Koolhaas, the photographer daughter of Rem.

Plenty of extra diversions make the crowds linger, too. Malak outfitted the screening room with overstuffed chaise longues and moody lighting. There’s also a library and an espresso bar. A restaurant serving Mediterranean-fusion cuisine offers an almost-alfresco experience, thanks to liberal doses of natural light, a vertical garden, and an oak dining shed that stands on a platform in the middle of the polished concrete floor. Lounges are both indoors and out. In the former, mod European seating and a half dozen collapsible bikes tempt visitors to sit or ride. The latter faces its much taller neighbor, the Burj Khalifa tower.

Pavilion Dubai

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