The void, the heart of the project, is a vast open space of water. Its size makes up the entire competition perimeter. The excavated soil can therefore be used again for new offshore landfill.
This empty space is accessible through diverse activities like renting boats to sail, paddle or artificial pearl diving. A tall water fountain (a present from the City of Geneva) is installed in the middle to mark a centre of peace, a strong statement and maybe a reference to the pearl roundabout? A continuing promenade around the water invites people to enjoy this place. The promenade offers a variety of benches, gradients, stairs, ramps and also access to the water. Overall shadow is created with palm trees.
Life in and around the Pearl Dive will be for old and young. It will offer places and spaces to sit, sleep, picknick, play chess, backgammon, gather, speak, argue, twitter, educate, learn, breath, see, observe, smell, hide, kiss, celebrate, cry, listen, enjoy, dance, laugh, run, perform, explore, discover… The place is a certain re-location of historical moments; a certain re-dive into the past and a hint to the fast ongoing land reclamation. It is Rom’s Fontana di Trevi for Manama, a new Tree of Life, and it will activate all adjoining neighborhoods together with the old city of Manama and its historical Bab Al Bahrain.
(Competition 1st Prize)
Manama, 14 Jan 2012