The Shift is the highest earthen construction in the world. Both local and international, it reflects the school’s influence over the world, with a local climate-based design principle.
The students’ curriculum begins at the top where they can free their minds from the reality of the city and understand the territory in its whole. It ends at the lowest floors, where they share room with professional architects.
The school life takes place in several simple volumes, protected from the sun, wind and sand by thick façades made of clay. They shift from each other to allow light to enter in deep patios where open air basins regulate the atmosphere by cooling the air and controlling humidity.
The implantation of the school within Dubai cityscape respects the urban scheme and its ambition to build a futuristic metropolis. It also plays with spectacular out of scale gaps in order to reveal the importance of the void in architecture, offering students both experimentation and meditation spaces so they can imagine the city of tomorrow.
The Shift also aims to challenge the concept of vertical cities as a relationship between tradition and modernity. The stacking of human sized modules stages a comeback of mankind in its natural environment combined with contemporary technological prowess.