First Pearling Path car park opens

A MULTISTOREY car park that opened yesterday in Muharraq is set to ease parking concerns while also providing local residents with another potential public space for markets and recreational activities.

The two-storey Pearling Path car park can accommodate 130 cars, and has been built to be usable even in a carless future, according to one of its architects.

“This is the first of four parking structures to be opened in Muharraq, and it is the smallest, because we did not want it to be higher than the neighbouring buildings and disrupt the Muharraq skyline,” Catherine Dumont d’Ayot, who worked with Christian Kerez in the buildings’ architectural designs, told the GDN.

Ms d’Ayot went on to add that the other three buildings will have four storeys each, and in total, the four will provide spaces for 1,000 cars.

According to Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (Baca) president Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, the second and third buildings are set to be completed by the end of this year, and open early next year.

The second building, the largest of the four, is located near the Bin Matar House and the Green Corner.

The third parking building will be located near Bath Fakhro to the south of the Pearling Path site, while the fourth structure will be opposite Bait Al Alawi and Bait Al Jalahma.

The buildings will provide free parking for Muharraq citizens and paid parking for visitors to the Unesco World Heritage Pearling Path site.

“We are still in the process of determining how many of the 130 spaces will be allocated to citizens and ways of assigning spots to them,” Shaikha Mai added.

According to Ms d’Ayot, the space is more than just a parking structure, and will provide an extra level for activities in the neighbourhood.

It has been purposefully built with a possible carless future in mind, where it can be adapted to host markets or recreational activities for children.

Each storey has a slightly different shape and design, where cars pass at different heights and slopes, giving each floor a unique character.

“We wanted a design that blended modern style with the existing old aesthetic,” Ms d’Ayot added.

“The idea is to make this a city square that can be adapted for many purposes, because at the end of the day, people should be the priority, rather than the cars.”

The inauguration of the car park was also attended by Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning minister Essam Khalaf, Muharraq Municipal Council chairman Ghazi Al Murbati, Muharraq Governorate’s deputy head Abdulla bin Khalifa Al Jeeran, as well as other dignitaries.

“This part of the Pearling Path project is the culmination of years of efforts, communication and co-operation with various parties,” Shaikha Mai added.

“It will address many challenges related to overcrowding and parking in Muharraq.”




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