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A4 Space and Café, Dubai

29 June 2015

How to develop your life-changing idea, with the help of specialist coffee, stylish furniture and Al Quoz’s newest and most creative business.

Dubai’s dusty industrial area is an unusual place to discover a communal hub dedicated to fostering the local creative community, but Al Quoz is fast-emerging as the city’s newest arts district and A4 Space workspace and café rests at its heart.

Located in Alserkal Avenue – home to many of Al Quoz’s art galleries – A4 Space is a collaborative venue that aims to provide creative experiences, innovation and learning, says Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, the founder of Alserkal Avenue and A4 Space, as well as Dubai’s Patron Of The Arts.

“Alserkal Avenue has always been a space for imagination and creativity, and has become a community unlike any other, welcoming the most talented minds and leaders of the creative economy to realise the most unique concepts. We felt it was time to extend the same to the young creative generation of the UAE by opening a collective space that encourages the creation and the incubation of new ideas so that they might become full-fledged initiatives in the near future.”

With soaring warehouse ceilings, A4 Space offers a diversity of open and contemplative workspaces for ‘squatting’ creatives. Sprawling communal wood worktables and benches, as well as ground level soft furnishings, occupy the first floor. Located at the heart of this level is A4 Space’s café, Appetite, which regularly hosts a collection of coffee-loving gallery owners, writers, artists and other like-minded individuals.

A pop-up store is also found on the ground floor. A4 Space and Alserkal Avenue Director, Vilma Jurkute, explains further: “A4 has a dedicated space for local designers to showcase their unique designs to our community, which is a part of our mission to continuously support and engage homegrown talent. The pop-ups rotate every month and have included designers and stores such as Essa Walla, Mahani, Made by Native, Yataghan, Army of 1, West LA, Drawdeck, and Noora among others.”

The café and workspace’s mezzanine floor plays hosts to further desk room and a shared library, where users are encouraged to donate and enjoy their favourite books, each with a personal note designed to inspire from the previous owner inscribed inside. Known as the #LEAVEYOURNOTE project, donated books are not limited by text, format or language. The only must is a personal note, explaining why the book is recommended, and the donator’s name. Thanks to social media the project has received donations not just from Dubai’s book lovers but also from New York, Kuala Lumpur and London.

A4 Space’s pièce de résistance is the cosy bed-like booths on its third and highest loft level. These cocooning, comfortable cubicles allow for quiet contemplation, while enjoying expansive views of the café and work places below. Here, creative hand-drawn notes and ideas pepper the walls in a riot of colour; collective shared memories of creative coffee drinkers past.

A4 Space is open Saturday to Thursday, from 10am to 7pm.

alserkalavenue.ae

Words and Images: Sandra Tinari

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