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The Block - D3 Creek Park

Dubai Creek was the first settlement area in Dubai and today, it features a canal connecting the land to the sea, dotted with small, traditional businesses which blend in with Dubai’s modern jetties, cafés and restaurants. The area is part of the Dubai Design District development, a global project that seeks to offer a creative, open urban ecosystem to a community of young design-oriented creatives. Conceived as part of the 2021 Dubai Plan, D3 is founded on the principles of the Smart City and offers a range of services meant to attract innovation-focused businesses, such as high-speed internet, reception services, 24/7 access to buildings, free use of meeting rooms for 10 hours a month and other facilities.

This development specifically seeks to promote Dubai as a major international destination for design, art and contemporary culture. The Dubai Design District is therefore a place where people can live, work and have fun. To add to the creek’s leisure facilities, an urban park called “The Block” has recently been completed. The park offers various children playgrounds, an outdoor gym, sports facilities, and food and drink outlets. The main feature of the space designed by Desert Ink is the reuse of 800 30-tonne concrete blocks left over from the construction of the canal. The recycling of materials and objects is the theme that guided the entire project. The planks for the street benches and the poles used in the gym and parkour circuits come from the original scaffolding, the metal structure used to build the refreshment area recalls industrial warehouses where containers are stored and old car tyres have been recycled as fitness equipment. Desert Ink chose these elements because they are easy to uninstall and reuse. The structure is illuminated using Platea Pro luminaires that provide homogeneous general illumination as well as lighting the containers. The various elements that make up the green areas have been carefully selected, for example date palms were matched with Leptadenia, a common desert plant that does not normally grow in the urban contexts of the Gulf. The plants are so important that they have been specifically illuminated using Woody projectors attached to the trunks of the palm trees. The general background lighting in the park is provided by pole-mounted MultiPro projectors, integrated with other luminaires to meet the specific requirements of the different areas.

Along the paths, Twilight Joburg luminaires with elliptical optics guarantee the level of lighting required to offer safety and comfort without causing light pollution. A very suggestive area for lighting effects is the climbing area: here, the recovered blocks have been equipped with special sockets to turn them into climbing walls. 360° light blade Trick luminaires create spectacular effects in a luminous choreography that accompanies the climbers’ different routes. In this way, artificial light helps to recreate – even during the night – that sense of relaxation and enjoyment of outdoor life that this new space sets out to offer to the locals.

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  • Year
  • Client
  • Architectural project:
    Desert Ink
  • Photographer
    Oliver Jackson

Project Quote

"Some of the fixtures were selected for their unique lighting effect. For instance, the ‘Trick’ fixture was something which desert INK were very excited to use in the ‘Siq’ – an urban concrete maze packed with climbing features and spaces to explore and discover. The Trick has an extremely unique linear lighting effect that is as much of a playful and inspiring part of the design as any other material we used. We love the added value that good quality lighting design can bring to a landscape and at The Block, the result is a series of exciting, intriguing and memorable landscape experience."

William Bennett, desert INK

Products Used: