This temporary pavilion in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates guides visitors through the evolution of the arch as seen in Islamic architecture. Designed by Hong Kong-based studio Daydreamers Design for the 2016 Islamic Arts Festival, “Spiral Arches” comprises 100 arches arranged in a spiraling arcade 88 meters (approximately 289 feet) long set on the Al Majaz Waterfont.
As the designers explained to Designboom, they consolidated the history of the Islamic arch by condensing its typologies into ten groups. The installation begins on the outer layer with the modern parabolic arch, which slowly transforms through different iterations by going back in time.
From the parabolic form, the pavilion morphs into the ogee arch, the multi-foil arch, the tri-foil arch, the shouldered arch, the pointed arch, the tudor arch, the segmental arch, the round arch, and finally ends with the ancient horseshoe arch.
Both the entrance and exit of the pavilion face toward Mecca, which further makes walking through the arches a kind of meditative experience, as can be seen in the video below. Each arch is outfitted with LED lights on the inner edge that turn on at night.