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UAE and the Gulf: Architecture and Urbanism Now




UAE and the Gulf: Architecture and Urbanism Now

George Katodrytis (Editor), Kevin Mitchell (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-75903-5 May 2015 144 Pages


At the end of the 20th century, Dubai attracted international media attention as the world sought to make sense of the city’s extraordinary growth. Exuberant projects such as the Burj Arab, the Burj Khalifa and the Palm Islands attracted investment in dreams to transform the region. While the global financial crisis kept dreams from becoming reality, this issue of AD seeks to present a view of architecture and urbanism in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other states in the wider Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) at a time when greater economic stability promises new beginnings. The issue presents examples of architecture that transcends preoccupation with fabricating images, and traces the process of making contemporary Gulf cities, from material tectonics to large-scale masterplans. By presenting the architecture of UAE and the Gulf within the context of broader regional developments and global trends, it highlights how projects in the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have contributed to unprecedented urban growth, while emphasising the continuing environmental challenges of building in the region. In addition to highlighting various sustainable initiatives intended to counteract these challenges, the issue also explores how computational design and new technologies are being innovatively employed to mitigate the impact of arid climates. 

Contributors include: Ameena Ahmadi, Kelly Hutzell, Varkki Pallathucheril, Todd Reisz, Rami el Samahy, Terri Meyer Boake, Jeffrey Willis.

International architects: Foster + Partners, Frank Gehry, HOK, IM Pei, Legoretta + Legoretta, Jean Nouvelle, Reiser + Umemoto, Allies and Morrison.

Regional architects: AGi (Kuwait), DXB.lab (UAE), X Architects (UAE).

Editorial 05
Helen Castle

About the Guest Editors 06
George Katodrytis and Kevin Mitchell

Introduction: The Gulf Urbanisation 08
George Katodrytis and Kevin Mitchell

Museum Development in the Gulf: Narrative and Architecture 20
Sarina Wakefield

Cultural Exchange and Urban Appropriation: Space for Art in Sharjah’s Historical Centre 26
Mona El Mousfy and Sharmeen Syed

Design for the Future: Educational Institutions in the Gulf 38
Kevin Mitchell

A City for Education 46
Ameena Ahmadi

The Evolution of Tall Building in the Gulf 54: From the Sensational to the sensitive 54
Terri Meyer Boake

Drawing on Sand: Cities in the Making 72
Steven Velegrinis and George Katodrytis

Inexhaustible Ambition: Two Eras of Planning in Doha, Qatar 80
Kelly Hutzell, Rami el Samahy and Adam Himes

New Hearts for Two Gulf Cities 92
Varkki Pallathucheril

Future Flyovers: Duba in 1971 100
Todd Reisz

Urban and Architectural Sustainability in the Gulf 106
Robert Cooke

Fast Forwards: 10 Years of Sustainable Initiatives in the Gulf Region 114
Jeffrey Willis

Performative Urbanism: An Emerging Model of the Gulf 120
George Katodrytis

The Struggle for Integrity: Emerging Local Practices in the Gulf 128
George Katodrytis and Kevin Mitchell


A Field of Possibilities: The Post-Oil Future and Bahrain 136
Noura al Sayeh

Contributors 142