UnNoticed: 12:30-3:00 PM

A tower-hub prototype with three sizes placed all around the U.A.E to refuge outdoor workers from the harsh sun, during their mid-day break.
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Designer(s) : Mais Alrim Marouf

University : American University in Dubai

Tutor(s) : Dr. Georges Kachaamy

Ajeesh Kumar, Jafar Punnakkal Punchavayal, Bhasi Kovilakath, and Santhosh Thomas were four Indian immigrants from the United Arab Emirates, who passed away in August 2019. Though their young age, the four of them died due to a heart stroke. According to The Guardian, research by cardiologists and climatologists concluded that exposure to extreme heat stress during their draining outdoor jobs was linked to their sudden deaths.

UAE’s unnoticed community includes construction workers, landscape workers, road workers, outdoor cleaners, and delivery men.
Before the 2004 initiative, their working hours were 8 hours a day with an hour break at noon all year long. However, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has introduced an initiative which allows workers with outdoor jobs to have an extended midday break from 12:30 PM to 3 PM every day, from June 15 until September 15. In the remaining months of the year, the midday break is only one hour. This midday break was initiated to protect outdoor workers from extreme heat stresses during the most draining summer months. They are surely resting but they’re still under the burning sun. During their midday break, workers usually find an empty land where they could eat, rest, and talk to their families. They’re also often seen laying on a piece of cardboard in parks, or a random sidewalk.

Since they’re the true makers of Dubai, their comfort and well-being are musts. Therefore, the Unnoticed should be accommodated in a social space during their break wherever their duty is. Also, delivery riders break at different times. The intention is to create a series of tower hubs placed all around the country to refuge outdoor workers, during their mid-day break from 12:30-3:00 pm. For this reason, the prototype was designed on a minimal plot area, to assure flexibility in placing the hubs around the labourers. Controversially, the towers are noticed from afar to stress the importance of validating the efforts of these unnoticed labourers and to stand out as a landmark for workers to see and utilize. These hubs are available in 3 sizes (small, medium, and large) to accommodate the needs of different areas and the number of labourers around the city. The towers aimed at creating a space for the spaceless during their mid-day break. This space includes all features of a home to ensure maximum comfort, relaxation, and enjoyment while on break. It includes public cubes for socializing, and administration, semi-private cubes for laundry, and shower rooms, and private cubes for sleeping and resting rooms. Cubes of 4x4x4 m were assembled to create the space and the voids needed. Also, smaller cubes along with some ladders were used to create landscape and seating areas.