On a breezy summer afternoon here in the newly renovated Sanayeh Garden, children are climbing the monkey bars, pedaling on bikes and kicking a ball by the huge water fountain in the park’s center. [...]
While this would be an ordinary scene in Paris, New York or Singapore, it’s practically a new invention for today’s residents of Beirut. Functional public parks have been virtually nonexistent here for decades. — citiscope.org
“The cities we’re working on were neglected by Saddam Hussein, so they have little basic infrastructure,” says Elliot Hartley, 36, a director of Garsdale Design. But why can’t Iraqis redesign their own cities? “There has been a massive brain drain of professionals from Iraq over the years, and a lack of investment in local government planning departments, which means that the skills aren’t there – yet,” [...].
More improbably yet, only one member of the family firm [...] has set foot in Iraq. — theguardian.com
US museums are teaming up with the Syrian Interim Government’s Heritage Task Force to help protect Syrian museum collections and stem the loss of cultural heritage amid the country’s ongoing civil war.
Late last month, experts from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and the Pennsylvania Museum’s Penn Cultural Heritage Center quietly organised a three-day training session for curators, heritage experts and civilians in an undisclosed location outside of Syria. — theartnewspaper.com
The results are out for the Gulf Architecture Biennial's Hormuz Bridge International Competition. The open ideas competition invited entrants to propose designs for a bridge or other connective structure to link both sides of the Hormuz Strait in the Persian Gulf.
Three winners and four honorable mentions were awarded. Eighteen additional entries will be included in the first volume of Gulf Architecture Biennial and publically displayed. — bustler.net
First Prize: XXXXXX02 or The Frozen Leviathan by Matteo ManniniSecond Prize: A CITY FOR THE STRAIT: The Hormuz Federation by Edourad Champalle Third Prize: Backbone of Strait of Hormuz by Chien Bang WongHonorable Mention: Global Security Pipeline by Nick Axel Honorable Mention...
As more journalists are being arrested in Egypt, artists are under threat as well. [...]
Political slogans and portraits of people who have died since the January 25 revolution are painted over by the government and replaced immediately by artists. The walls of Mohamed Mahmoud Street leading to Tahrir Square are layers of colorful murals over asymmetrical blotches of white paint. And despite its attempt to silence, the dictatorial white ironically makes a great primer for many of the artworks. — blog.vandalog.com
This 56-minute documentary film features interviews with nineteen Arab architects from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia. It explores the subject of the practice of architecture by Arab women architects and features stories on their experiences, challenges, and achievements. In order to facilitate viewing, the film is divided into six sequels. — Center for the Study of the Built Environment
The film was first screened during the Award's sixth cycle ceremony, which took place on January 7, 2014 at the German Jordanian University's Othman Bdeir House for Architecture and Design in Amman, Jordan.
To its critics—and even many of its fans—“culture” and “Dubai” barely belong in the same sentence. The city is perhaps the world’s most extreme example of a business-first, built-from-the-sand boomtown. But Shoufani and her fellow Poeticians have become a prime exhibit in a debate that has broken out with renewed vigor in the Arab world and among urban theorists worldwide... — bostonglobe.com
Dubai won the bid to host the World Expo 2020, being the first Middle Eastern city selected in the Expo's 160-year history. HOK, in partnership with Populous and Arup, led the design team that developed the master plan, themed "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future." Their proposal won against those from Brazil, Russia, and Turkey.
The 1,082-acre (438-hectare) Expo site is equidistant from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, next to the new Al Maktoum International Airport and near the Jebel Ali Port. — bustler.net
AGi architects enjoyed yet another lucky year in the 2013 Middle East Architect Awards recently held in Dubai. In addition to being shortlisted in five categories, the Spanish-Kuwaiti firm won two awards for The Star House and the BBS Pre-School, both in Kuwait.
The Star House received Residential Project of the Year — making it the second year in a row that AGi won in the category — while the BBS Pre-School was named Institutional & Cultural Project of the Year. — bustler.net
From six finalists to three and finally to one, Morphosis Architects will be designing the new U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, as announced by The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) earlier this week.
Morphosis won against top-name contenders Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Mack Scogin Merrill Elam / AECOM. All top three teams advanced to the competition's final round of presentations and interviews. Submitting designs weren't a requirement. — bustler.net
The prestigious Aga Khan Awards for Architecture program has announced the 2013 winners at a ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal.
Established in 1977, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture is given every three years to recognize all types of building projects that positively affect today’s built environment in communities in which Muslims have a significant presence. — bustler.net
The five projects selected by the 2013 Master Jury are: Islamic Cemetery in Altach, Austria by Bernardo Bader Architects Revitalization of Birzeit Historic Center in Birzeit, Palestine by Riwaq - Center for Architectural Conservation Rehabilitation of Tabriz Bazaar inTabriz, Iran by ICHTO East...
“We’re trying to fill the gap between the broad stroke of policymaking and the reality of life on the ground,” says Bar-Sinai, who recently returned to Israel after a yearlong fellowship at Harvard University. “Only thinking about these questions from the 30,000 foot high perspective isn’t enough.” — smithsonianmag.com
Many of these references are to natural phenomena: the wind-blown sand dunes of the desert or the sanctuary of an oasis; others refer to a way of life seemingly passing beyond recall: the dhows used for trade and pearl diving, or the tents of the nomadic Bedouins. — Atlantic Cities
As John Kerry was trying to renew negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority late last week, the "Architactics" exhibition opened at the ZeZeZe Architecture Gallery in Tel Aviv Port. This coincidence provides an injection of realism into what, a week earlier, seemed like a series of interesting mental exercises, but far from the present reality. The aim of the exhibition... is to mobilize tools from the world of design and architecture to help to promote the peace talks. — haaretz.com
"The conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians is based mainly on a territorial problem, and therefore architects must play a central role in finding its solution," says architect Yehuda Greenfield-Gilat, who, together with fellow architect Karen Lee Bar-Sinai, founded Saya in...
At least 15 Syrian students were killed on Thursday when rebel mortar bombs landed on the canteen of Damascus University's College of Architecture, state-run media reported. — Al Arabiya
Mortar shells landed on the canteen of Damascus University's College of Architecture killed at least 15 students and wounded 30 others on Thursday, state television reported, blaming rebels who have stepped up attacks in the heart of the Syrian capital.
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