Biophilic Neighbourhood of Rammed-earth Structures

3DELUXE is currently designing a sustainable development on the coastline east of the Dubai Metropolitan Area. This urban oasis extends for over a mile along the Kalba Beach shoreline.


It consists of 15 buildings suited for restaurants, cafes, kiosks and administration, as well as additional public services and a nearby parking area supporting e-mobility. It is embedded in a newly-created biotope of subtropical vegetation and aims to be as carbon reduced in construction and operation as possible. The most visible feature of the building project is the rammed-earth construction.

Architecture of encounters

The architectural concept of Kalba Beach enables, in an unobtrusive way, an exchange between visitors and natural surroundings. Open facades and spacious outdoor terraces with shading roofs consisting of lively natural rope structures promote direct connectivity to the natural environment and make the stay within the development a serene and peaceful experience.

The architecture and landscape no longer coexist as two static and isolated concepts. Collectively, they enable social interaction and promote inclusive diversity and coexistence of various cultures, ex-pats, tourists and locals. A mix of established cafes and restaurant concepts and young new concept ideas that meet the sustainable aspirations of the project will make this emerging ‘culinary district’ a highly attractive place.

Low-carbon building method with a futureproof perspective

The walls of the commercial buildings are mainly constructed out of rammed-earth components. Being an environmentally-friendly, strong and extremely aesthetic material, rammed earth provides great potential for low-carbon buildings in the future: rammed-earth structures consist of compressed layers of local materials like sand, gravel and clay plus a stabiliser, resulting in low embodied energy, minimal waste and are mostly reusable after demolition.

Thanks to its archaic expressiveness, rammed earth can be used as an exciting contrast to modern surfaces or concrete. The porous surface of the material also improves room acoustics and natural ventilation while maintaining a stable, balanced temperature level. It acts as a thermal storage mass and regulates room humidity. In recent years, rammed earth has become popular amongst environmentally-conscious architects, and the global expertise of applying rammed earth in the construction industry is growing rapidly.

A healthy built environment at the oceanfront

All service and administrative buildings in the development will be constructed with sustainable wooden facades, and all walkways and plazas will be made of wooden planks to minimise soil sealing as much as possible. All available space on the roof areas will be equipped with photovoltaic systems, which will provide a significant portion of the energy needs. The irrigation system will use grey water and is designed to maximise efficiency. The waste management will use compost production to nurture the greenery.

New, modern and low tech

Working with the traditional construction method of rammed earth, 3DELUXE is creating interesting new aesthetics by layering various earth tones in the compacted walls – a way to explore new combinations with contemporary materials and techniques, giving the roughness of the traditional materials a strong and modern appeal. The individual structure of a rammed-earth wall never appears monotonous, creating interesting layered structures. The 3DELUXE architects gave the buildings a modern appearance by adding contrasting delicate details like wooden inserts, concrete frames and perforated wall panels. Nevertheless, the building designs remain minimalistic, pure and partly raw – Palm Springs, Mid-Century flavour meets modern low-tech style.

Space for local start ups

The eastern coastline of the UAE is more and more transformed into a green and sustainable tourist destination as a relaxed alternative to the busy west coast around Dubai City. According to the developer, Shurooq, the project seeks to promote local entrepreneurship by prioritising the creation of business opportunities, particularly for the region’s youth. We can, therefore, look forward to seeing new and interesting gastronomic concepts emerging at Kalba Beach in the near future.

Background of the project

The project is being developed by Sharjah investment and developing authority, Shurooq. Construction will start this summer, and opening is planned for mid 2024. In recent years, 3DELUXE has completed multiple award-winning projects within the Emirates (Al Noor Island, Butterfly Pavilion, Al Heera Beach) and is currently working on three new and exciting projects along the eastern coastline of the UAE.

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