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Marble

The aim of Masaar is to aid foreign integration into Manchester whilst reducing the risk of culture shock and isolation. It is a student residence catering for Middle Eastern students coming to the UK for the first time and for non-Middle Eastern students with an interest in learning Arabic and familiarising themselves with related cultures.

Masaar is located in a former cotton mill and features both Middle Eastern and industrial design throughout, giving insights into Manchester’s past and Middle Eastern cultures. This combination of Industrial and Middle Eastern design embodies the building’s aspiration: to aid the integration of two very different cultures.

 

The Middle Eastern design elements include geometric pattern, tiles, Islamic blue, lanterns and wood panelling, making the jump to a different culture and place less daunting and them feel in a safe and familiar place. The industrial components retained or highlighted, such as exposed brick, window frames and open plan, giving an insight into Manchester’s past.

 

A mixture of English and Arabic signage is used throughout the building encouraging residents to explore relevant languages. In order to cater for the religious requirements and preferences of those of Muslim faith, Masaar offers prayer rooms, a female only gym, salon and area – amenities which would not be readily available in regular student residences.    

 

Having non-Middle Eastern student residents also helps ensure that the Middle Eastern residents do not become marginalised and have the opportunity to make friends with those from different cultures and backgrounds without putting themselves in situations in which they are not yet comfortable. The ability to meet in an area that celebrates different cultures and common interests creates understanding and empathy between groups of differing backgrounds, providing a pathway to wider integration. 

Masaar

majlis

majlis

FRONT SECTION

FRONT SECTION

SIDE SECTION

SIDE SECTION

dining

dining

taealam

taealam

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rec copy

FEATURECORRIDOR

FEATURECORRIDOR

prayer room

prayer room

We were given the task of re-designing a Shelter charity shop located in Fishergate Shopping Centre in Preston. We met some of the team members at Shelter who told us that they wanted the space to bring more people in, be more inviting to those in need of housing advice, and have an area-specific identity. Things the clients specifically asked to be included in the space were an advice centre and a storage room for items too big to take upstairs. Other than that we were told we had ‘a blank canvas’. They also specified that the space had to be practical in terms of manoeuvring furniture to its display position, as they would have to replace stock quickly. They talked to us about a sort of ‘charity shop stigma’ where people have preconceptions about charity shops and view them as ‘smelly’ and ‘cluttered’, and suggested that we try to find a solution to this problem. 

A welcoming industrial style space that is adaptable yet has clear permanence and which creates a familiar, welcoming atmosphere.

Shelter

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IMG_1323

IMG_1323

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sectionvisual2

section visual

section visual

Elena shared a sketch with you 2 copy 2.

Elena shared a sketch with you 2 copy 2.

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Project Visuals:

Project Plans:

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