Continuing a relationship which spans 40 years Godwin Austen Johnson (GAJ) has recently completed the new Sports & Performing Arts Centre of Excellence (The SPACE) for the Dubai College.
The all new SPACE is the most ambitious project of the planned upgrade of the school to date. It is located on a condensed part of the site at the back of the campus and required the demolition of the existing swimming pool and sports hall to free up valuable land for the new 5,500sqm development.
From the outset the 900sqm multi-purpose gym with indoor running track was designed to be a central hub within the SPACE and it occupies most of the ground floor. It is supplemented by a number of flexible student spaces to foster a relationship between the physical movement and the science behind it allowing teachers to combine the practical with the theory.
Also on the ground floor is a new swimming facility which can be directly accessed from the outside without the need to go through the sports hall. It includes a 300 seat spectator viewing area, electronic touch timing system making it ideal for galas and other water sports events.
On the first floor the 1,100sqm sports hall is designed for two basketball and two netball courts with retractable bleacher style seating for around 500 spectators.
The size of the sports hall and its unique layout with a show court running in the opposite direction to the second court and a dividing curtain allows the school the flexibility and capacity to increase the number of activities and to be able to host large tournaments.
The performing arts was also a key consideration for the SPACE with the creation of a black box drama performance space with seating for 140, drama rooms, music classrooms as well as music practice areas.
A rooftop MUGA court and student café have also been incorporated as well as a unique hall of fame showcasing the achievements of the school.