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Off / The Grid
Bab Al Bahrain Square - shortlisted
Autonomous from the existing urban development, the new Bab Al Bahrein square is a self-sustained island, a field for public life as reclaimed by citizens. No rhetorical monumentality, no arab decorative clichés give shape to its form. Conversely, the square asserts its nature of an infrastructural system using energy autonomy as a means for supporting public life and political freedom. The energy obtained though a huge system of solar collectors on the roofs allows for the square to be detached from the main power grid, as electrical power is used on site for multiple activities taking place in the hollow pillars. Organized in a symbolical and physical grid of serial, simple, non-figurative elements, the place defines a mode of coexistence.