OMA and inside outside have collaborated on a design for dubai’s ‘ethar — honoring generosity,’ a field of columns engraved with stories of arabic scholars, scientists, and thinkers. this field is unified as a monumental landscape symbolizing generosity and knowledge. the installation celebrates the unique culture of charitable giving in the united arab emirates with a physical installation that is part of the urban landscape of dubai. the installation is comprised of 1,680 triangular shaped aluminum columns, arrayed like a magnetic field, pointing toward a centralized rectangular plaza.

OMA inside outside dubai
all images © OMA & inside outside



walking through this installation by OMA and inside outside, visitors first encounter a field of small pillars at the boundary of the site. these further inward become a street with dramatic perspective effects as the columns grow taller, opening up in a public square in the center. the density of columns creates a pleasant micro-climate further enhanced by shading devices through which the installation will become a playful social space. the ambition is to make these columns out of recycled aluminum, a building material that is 100 % recyclable.

OMA inside outside dubai



at night, a spectacle of illumination enhances the dynamics of the column landscape with lights gradually shifting from wide to sharp and cold to warm. rows of stainless steel lightning fixtures mark the plaza, and enhance the gesture of movement in the design. ‘ethar — honoring generosity’ will be located on jumeirah beach, but it’s character can also adapt to different contexts: groups of columns can also be dispersed throughout the city, appearing in key urban locations as a symbol for emirati culture. the project emphasizes the importance of valuing talent and education, and will be realized under the patronage of leading governmental charity organizations.

OMA inside outside dubai OMA inside outside dubai OMA inside outside dubaiOMA inside outside dubai 
project info:


location: dubai, UAE
client: ethar foundation
year: 2019 – ongoing
status: design development
program: scenography, landscape
design: OMA
design consultant: inside outside
partner: iyad alsaka
team: wael sleiman (project architect), mike fritsch