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Project Type

Commercial + Office, Mixed-Use


Full Architectural Services, Interior Design, Sustainability Consulting


Mina Zayed, Al Mina - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

MIZA: MAKE and SEAF is part of a master plan forming a distinctive mixed-use urban innovation hub at Mina Zayed – Abu Dhabi’s first port and industrial warehouse district established in 1970. The plan calls for utilizing existing warehouse structures and working with the existing urban grain and architecture to establish MIZA as Abu Dhabi’s Design, Art, and Technology District.

DRAW’s solution was to bring two buildings together with a single spirit. SEAF, an artist university, and MAKE, a makerspace, will share a pavilion entrance but are distinct purpose-built spaces. The SEAF/MAKE structure sits in a central location of the development. It will be a significant asset by offering the public the tools, space, and mentorship they need to flourish in the design, art, and technology trades.

DRAW’s design team met the challenges of the building’s combined purpose by embracing the historical structural system of the MIZA warehouse, creatively fitting more uninterrupted usable space within the long, continuous warehouse space, and finding efficiencies between the overlapping program. It was essential to recognize the historical significance of the original building by adopting the warehouses’ simplistic shape and industrial nature, including the tapered interior columns. The warehouse form is reoriented and elevated to link MAKE and SEAF together, but it also serves as a beacon of creativity for those approaching the site.