Dubai Maritime Museum by Tasnim Tinawi & Uthra Varghese

The Dubai Maritime Museum project is situated along the historic creek shore. The site is an active space that allows for traditional dhow-building activities. The museum hopes to pay tribute to the heritage and craft making traditions of the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai Maritime Museum
Instructor: George Newlands
Institution: American University of Sharjah


The design of the museum features an undulating green roof and a light box that rests above it. The earth roof transforms into a shaded landscape area that provides public space for gathering. The lower gallery offers a subterranean experience while the upper gallery is characterized by its poly-carbonate facade that filters light. The stark contrast between the dark lower floor and the light upper gallery is an analogy to the experience on a ship or vessel.


In addition to the two main galleries, the program offers a cafe, a souvenir shop, administrative offices and multipurpose rooms. The museum is accessible by car and by metro but also but also features a connection across the creek by boat that complements the visitor’s maritime experience.

Tasnim Tinawi

Uthra Varghese

Tasnim Tinawi and Uthra Varghese discovered their passion for architecture while working together at the American University of Sharjah. They have worked on a variety of projects that explore spatial relationships and formal qualities of architecture. They have participated in many competitions and commissions on various scales to seek innovative methods, forms and programs. They want to rethink of concepts as powerful and personal tools that influence the individual and the urban public sphere.

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