Archive for April, 2010

al jazeerah al hamra has for the last decades been known as a ghost town, abandoned from 68-71, it has been without inhabitants for 40 years.  “now, only Jinn live here”, people of the village tell us.

Creeping desert sands bury ghost town

Video Documentary: A group visit the village of al jazeerah al hamra, part one.

Video Documentary: A group visit the village of al jazeerah al hamra, part two

the irony now, is that the new development, just adjacent to the old village is lacking electricity and other necessities, so it remains empty. but not only for this reason. even though almost every apartment and housing unit is sold out, the majority of the owners are speculators, not even in need of such a unit, so there is no one to move in.

The Specials, real ghost town remix , featuring the new development of Al hamra Village Complex.

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some inspiration

house within a house

the dovecote studio

museum of islamic art by i.m pei

kuwait nationa lassembly by Jorn Utzon


niyang river visitor center by standardarchitecture zhaoyang-studio

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over time, al jazeerah al hamra has developed it`s building structure in a traditional expanding way.  starting with a small village structure in the center of the island consisting of only Areesh houses, to a more complex situation expanding into main land area.

so, with the village of today being abandoned, but still intact, constructional, there are several possibilities of re-developing the space. one way is a sectional area-based development. to some extent this has already started to happen, with the workers renting abandoned houses in the southern area of the village.

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because of the lack of written information on the village, i have created a time-line to help me in my research for easy update and overview. some interactive online help/advice is also appreciated.

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i have chosen five main issues that has an important impact on my project:

The economic situation:
The economic collapse in Dubai; Companies going bankrupt; The government out of money

Immigration related to workforce:
80% immigration workers, 50% from Asia; No rights; Bad living conditions

Arts & crafts,The young local artists, Bedouins, Architecture & social belonging, Islam, Agriculture

Explosion in tourism in the late 90`s and early 2000; RAK trying to live up to the paste of Dubai; Project status: collapse VS finished

From sustainable Bedouins to consuming businessmen; Not exploiting local and natural resources, like before; Artificial need for energy; natural water VS the artificial need for water; Lack of planning; The Masdar project, Abu Dhabi

in relation to these five issues, i am looking at the village from a micro scale to a macro scale point of view:

The village itself – micro

History – development

Physical surroundings – architecture and social structure

Location – jazirat al hamra

The surrounding community – mezzo

The residential area – locals

The industry – workers

The port – connection

Tourism – mezzo

The surrounding projects – tourists

The workers – immigration

Man-made structures – change

Ras Al Khaimah – macro

The emirate – agriculture

The city – history

The government – relationship

United Arab Emirates – macro

The history – Bedouin tribes

Present – united

The future – sustainable

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working with models is a good way of exploring a situation. i am trying to work with clay, to create a sense of the same materiality and tactility. many of the constructional problems related to the use of mud has to do with humidity VS dryness. a mud-house being abandoned for 40 years is sure to crumble.

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