Coley Porter Bell helms major complex for Dubai

Coley Porter Bell has designed the name, identity and marketing collateral for a $12bn (£6.2bn) residential and shopping complex in Dubai.

The development, called Downtown Jebel Ali, will stretch 11km along Sheikh Zayed Road, incorporating parks, piazzas and retail pavilions into the 200ha site. CPB was appointed to the project in May and the project is the consultancy’s first in Dubai.

Downtown Jebel Ali will house about 235 000 residents and include 326 buildings. The development is being divided into four quarters – East Quarter, East Central, West Central and West Quarter. Each quarter will be divided into three individual districts. This will include an Urban Centre, which will form the commercial and social hub of the district, the Trellis District, which will provide more pedestrian-

friendly environments, and the Medina District, which will include residential neighbourhoods, small courtyards and plazas.

CPB has designed an identity for the complex based on a more ‘human scale,’ according to Stephen Bell, creative director at the consultancy. The identity features an abstract image of a group of people and a ‘desert-inspired’ colour palette, he says.

‘The idea of this identity is to reflect a sense of community and make it about the people, not just to include an architectural feature from the development in the identity. We want to portray connectivity,’ says Bell.

CPB has created four separate colour-coded identities to brand the four distinct zones. The consultancy will also kick-start a wayfinding and signage solution to run across the entire site, says Bell. This will see the iconic line, as featured in the identity, applied to various materials such as concrete and stone. ‘The intention was always to use the identity in a very physical sense,’ says Bell.

Work has already begun on-site, with four commercial buildings due to be finished by mid-2007. Completion of the site is scheduled for 2009.

The entire development’s masterplanner is architect Peter Calthorpe of Calthorpe Associates. Architect Pai Partnership and Burt Hill Associates are also designing initial aspects of the development.

A pitch will be held later in the year to appoint additional architects to create the separate plaza areas located in each of the districts.

Downtown Jebel Ali is being built by Limitless, the real estate development arm of Dubai World. Limitless is also working on projects in China, Pakistan, India and Russia.


• Downtown Jebel Ali, mixed-use development with brand identity and marketing collateral by Coley Porter Bell

• Jumeirah Lakes Towers, mixed-use development with masterplan by Portland Design

• Burj Dubai Development, mixed-use development, overall branding work by Landor Associates

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