Flying Saucer Rehabilitation - AKDN
The Sharjah Art Foundation acquired and commissioned the complete rehabilitation of the iconic Flying Saucer restaurant, originally built in the 1970s. Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Danko Stjepanovic (photographer)
The core structure was revealed by removing the grey aluminum cladding on the saucer's pillars and the orange aluminum cladding on its canopy. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Danko Stjepanovic (photographer)

Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Danko Stjepanovic (photographer)

The dome rises up to seven metres and was kept in its existing condition – a rough exposed concrete finish. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Danko Stjepanovic (photographer)

Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Danko Stjepanovic (photographer)

Two access routes lead to the underground level from the Platform, a newly created public space that replaces the old parking. One of them is the enclosed stairwell placed at the rear of the site towards the gas station. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Danko Stjepanovic (photographer)

Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Danko Stjepanovic (photographer)

View of the open stairwell towards Sheikh Zayed Road leading to the underground level dubbed “The Launch Pad”. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Danko Stjepanovic (photographer)

Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Danko Stjepanovic (photographer)

The large “Green Crater” connects the upper floor to the underground, aka the “Launch Pad”, flooding it with natural light. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Danko Stjepanovic (photographer)

Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Danko Stjepanovic (photographer)

The “Launch Pad” is a community space that fulfils cultural and social functions with multiple programmes and activities. It fans around the Saucer's faceted retaining walls (here on the left). Along the library wall, long tables and chairs double as working and workshop spaces. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Danko Stjepanovic (photographer)

Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Danko Stjepanovic (photographer)

Light flows into the underground floor from the skylight above. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Danko Stjepanovic (photographer)

Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Danko Stjepanovic (photographer)

The multipurpose café around which film screenings, workshops, performances and readings can be held. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Danko Stjepanovic (photographer)

Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Danko Stjepanovic (photographer)

Sections. | Courtesy of architect

Courtesy of architect

Site plan. | Courtesy of architect

Courtesy of architect

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Flying Saucer Rehabilitation