UAE

Museum of Middle East Modern Art by Michelle Linden



Dutch firm UN Studio has recently designed a building set to house the first Museum of Middle Eastern Modern Art, as well as a host of other activities including housing, commercial, and retails zones. I have to admit, that I'm glad the this building is more than just a museum... when I first saw it, I was having trouble comprehending why a museum with such a narrow focus we need such a huge structure.
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To be honest, I'm not exactly in love with this building. Sure, its got some nice horizontal banding, consistent with a lot of UN's other work, but the symmetry and scale seem overly formal, which no really connection to the building's surroundings. I realize that much of the Dubai is under construction so there isn't necessarily a great deal of context, but this building seem to ignore the possibility of any interaction. And considering that this new building is being located in Dubai's historic district of Jadaf... I've just got to believe that the architects could have paid more attention to a sense of place. And to top it all off... whenever I look at the images, I just think 'Moby Dick'.
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Via Yatzer
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OMA does delicate? by Michelle Linden

I recently saw this image of a proposed inhabited bridge at Jebel Al Jais Mountain Resort in UAE by OMA. Its part of a proposal by OMA, which also includes an inhabited dam and a vertical village in the mountainside. The image really caught my eye because I think its a bit of a departure from a lot of OMA's work. While the village and dam are reminiscent of earlier work, the lacy facade of this bridge provides a delicacy not usually evident in Rem's designs. I typically think of his work as chunky extrusions of a flow and use diagram, but this image even offers some illusions of delicate decoration. I'd be interested in seeing even more of this project, if only to compare the design intent with other OMA projects.

Via Dezeen

Interactive Map of Gulf Architecture by Michelle Linden

Dezeen has created (through Google maps) an interactive map of significant Gulf area architecture. Its especially handy for people like me, who have never visited the Gulf area and have trouble understanding the geographical relationships between architectural sites in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Dezeen is creating this in preparation for the International Design Forum in Dubai (27-29 May), but I find it a great reference for my architectural reading.