EDGE Architects have completed 4,400sqft Dubai Exiles Rugby Clubhouse project located at The Sevens, Al Ain Road, Dubai. Being the oldest rugby club in the UAE, the client’s aspiration was to have a clubhouse that would reflect the club’s rich history of over 50 years. The design intent was to give the space a vintage industrial aesthetic using a dark high ceiling, exposed structural elements, painted brick walls, and rugged concrete flooring. A material palette consisting of steel, concrete, and timber was deliberately chosen to depict strength and ruggedness.

A central bar with a painted steel frame and mesh skin doubled up as a display stand for trophies, memorabilia and club merchandise. The inward-looking bar was the focal point of the space and was designed to act as a catalyst for conversations. Though the bar was placed right in the centre of the space, the use of the light steel frame and the see-through steel mesh gave it a certain amount of transparency. Large accordion doors and sectional doors were used to create an openable skin that when opened allowed the club to extend the clubhouse during the winter months and use the large outdoor terrace overlooking the sports fields as a viewing gallery.

The floor plan was designed in a way that allowed for both small and large groups of guests especially when hosting important sporting events. The history of the club was displayed across the clubhouse in the form of memorabilia and merchandise. The design of the display blended with the overall aesthetic while still garnering the required attention from club members and guests. A short corridor within the clubhouse was designed like a museum gallery using old photographs, the club’s first jersey and honour boards as a way of sharing the club’s heritage with members and guests.