Top architecture firms celebrate Middle East's design culture
Time Out Bahrain staff
The art of architecture As part of Bahrain’s events to mark the choice of Manama as Arab Capital of Culture 2012, the main theme of February is architecture with the focus on open space and contemporary practices.
In collaboration with the Japanese Embassy in Bahrain, an exhibition entitled Parallel Nippon: Contemporary Japanese Architecture 1996-2006 will be held at the National Museum of Bahrain from February 7 to 27 exploring the evolution of Japanese architecture over the span of a decade using architectural drawings, photographs, models and film footage.
The Ministry of Culture has also organised an open ideas competition for the redesign of the Bab Al Bahrain Square stretching from the Bab Al Bahrain to the south, to the King Faisal Highway to the north.
Entries will be exhibited from February 16 in situ at the Bab Al Bahrain Square, where a temporary pavilion will be built to help redefine the space. Government Avenue will also become pedestrianised from 6pm to 10pm on weekdays and from 10am to 10pm on weekends, encouraging additional use of the square.
Furnished with locally designed and manufactured pieces, it will also host a series of architecture-related events including lectures, movie screenings and design workshops.
There will be a pop-up café and the space will also serve as an open forum for debate, addressing the role of public spaces in the Arab world and Bahrain in particular.
During February, the Ministry of Culture will also inaugurate two conservation projects in Muharraq. The Sheikh Salman Bin Abdullah House, one of the oldest and grandest houses in Muharraq, and the conservation of the Suq Al Qaisariya, one of the first projects to be inaugurated as part of the Pearling, Testimony of an Island Economy Project which has been nominated to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The month wll also see numerous events aimed at engaging the population with sculpture across the island and international education through talks and workshops.
Architecture Month programme Feb 7-27 Parallel Nippon: Contemporary Japanese Architecture, Gallery 1 National Museum.
Feb 11 Opening of the newly renovated Suq Al Qaysarriya and talk by Dr Alaa’ Al Habashi, conservation architect of the project.
Feb 16 7pm Opening of the exhibition for the Bab Al Bahrain Open Ideas Competition. Exhibition pavillion open daily 10 am-10pm from Feb 17-Mar 1 and voting for People’s Choice will run during this period.
Feb 16 Bab Al Bahrain Square Pavilion public round-table discussion on the BAB competition results with the jury members Joseph Grima, Bernard Khoury, Bjarne Mastenbroek and Ahmad Al Ali.
Feb 17 6.30pm-9.30pm Bab Al Bahrain Square Pavilion public talks by Joseph Grima, editor in chief, Domus Magazine, Milan, Bernard Khoury, architect director of Bernard Khoury DX5 Architects, Beirut, Bjarne Mastenbroek, architect director of SeARCH architects, Amsterdam and Ahmad Al Ali, architect director of x-architects, Dubai.
Feb 18 2.30pm- 6.30 pm, Bab Al Bahrain Square Pavilion, Baraha, Saha, Seef Mall, sidewalk… interviews on public space in Bahrain conducted by Hayfa Mattar and Rashad Faraj.
Feb 20 6pm- 9.30pm, at the Bab Al Bahrain Square Pavilion open air cinema projection – 6pm- 7.30pm Hamad and the Pirates (Walt Disney production 1971). Modern pirates cause more problems for a pearl diver after he is rescued from a typhoon. Filmed in Bahrain.
Feb 24-25 Bab Al Bahrain Square Pavilion public workshop on the theme of public space by invited architects and urban planners.
Feb 27 Bab Al Bahrain Square Pavilion open air cinema projection 6pm-7.30pm Home is a 2009 documentary by Yann Arthus-Bertrand almost entirely composed of aerial shots of various places on Earth.
Feb 28 Bab Al Bahrain Square Pavilion talk by Rem Koolhaas, Pritzker-prize winning architect, founding partner of OMA, Rotterdam.
1 Mar 7pm People’s Choice Award and closing ceremony- official results of the public vote.
The 5th International Sculpture Symposium
Bahrain regularly celebrates the art of sculpture as a culture of three-dimensional vision. This year, in association with the Manama Capital of Arab Culture, Arab sculptors from Bahrain, Tunisia, Sudan, Iraq, Palestine, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Syria have been wielding their tools of the trade under the patronage of The Ministry of Culture. The fruits of their labours can now be seen in the central sculpture garden in front of the entrance of the National Museum. Ongoing (17298744)