(MENAFN - Arab News) A traditional souk project in dammam has won first prize in the community section of the cityscape awards held in jeddah last week.
the project entailed the revamp of the 40-year-old women's market in dammam.
the prize was awarded to mohammed al-sofayan the director of public relations; sami al-haddad architect and director of urban planning studies who also served as the project manager; and abdulfattah almumen the managing director of afm consultants the project designer and consultant.
the project was aimed at transforming the old market into a shopping complex and tourist attraction. it is part of several projects being undertaken to regenerate parts of dammam.
the 17000-square-meter souk has 57 shops and 165 open bazaar booths under one shed. the first floor on the west side has been developed as a training center for poor women. it has 89 parking spots. it is situated in a commercial area in dammam and hemmed in by streets on four sides.
the arabic architectural magazine albeena recently said the souk makes the city 'more alive and vibrant."
the shopping area has a special ventilation system to deal with climate changes at all times of the year. the major plaza acts as a meeting place for people and can host tourist events which assists in the project's sustainability. observers say the design shows how projects can be completed cost-effectively using local materials.
the designers linked the project to the neighboring meat and vegetable market and ensured corridors for shoppers to reach their parking quickly. it also has provision for the elderly and people with disabilities.
in the site planning the east side road was redesigned to become part of an integrated outdoor urban parking plaza with a drop-off point facing the central court.
the booth designs were developed after research and took into account the details of the old souk. this led to flexibility in the display and storage of merchants and garments.
the special designs for the women's booths allow for an elevated deck for visual communication between female sellers and shoppers. the elevated deck also acts as an easy accessible extra storage space.