Archive for May, 2010

last weekend i was with my family on our farm, where my grandmother grew up. it is a small valley called Kinserdalen, deep into the Sognefjord. at this point i had not yet learned that there was an ongoing debate about building a mosque in the community of Sogn and Fjordane. this is the last county that has not established such an institution.  but now there is.

related to my project, my thesis, i decided to build a small mosque near our farm, linked up to the road that leads further into the mountain. this is a public accessible road, but with few visitors. the aim for my build was to pinpoint my idea of re-developing the mosque as a social hub, a public arena.

this mosque also represents a connection between me and the Zaabi-tribe.  with this mosque, i have created a physical link to the tribal people who are now situated in several locations in the United Arab Emirates. the link being Mecca.

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An American architecture professor, Ginger Krieg Dosier, 32, Assistant Professor of Architecture at American University of Sharjah (AUS), has won this year’s prestigious Metropolis Next Generation Design Prize for “Biomanufactured Brick.” The 2010 Next Generation Prize Challenge was “ONE DESIGN FIX FOR THE FUTURE” – a small fix to change the world. The Next Generation judges decided that Professor Dosier’s well-documented and -tested plan to replace clay-fired brick with a brick made with bacteria and sand, met the challenge perfectly.

read the article here

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with the new residential area in the 70`s, the public arena was turned outwards towards the new coastal road.  the social interaction was then on the outer boundaries of the residential area.

my proposal to extend this line into the old village, will create a new public arena right in the core of the village. social interaction becomes the spine of al jazerrah al hamra.

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this pdf is just a simplification, showing some of my ideas.  two of my main focuses:

the mosques as social hubs & the extension of the public arena, into the village.

analyzing al jazeerah al hamra – introducing some ideas

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there are 12 existing mosques in the village, each placed according to the social surroundings.  the history tells us that when Muslim conquerors established themselves somewhere, a mosque was put up first, and then the military camp was built around it.

So, to re-generate social life in this abandoned village, one could start with the mosques again.  the mosques are already there, serving almost as hot-spots for the village. So, by focusing new social programs around the mosques, it establishes an authentic approach to the situation.

the inner space of the mosque will still be sacred to the prayers, and still function as the mosque we know today.

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RAK Hospital is hosting a unique contemporary art exhibition with 16 local and UAE based artists on the theme Tracking the Emirates from April 7 to August 7, 2010 in Ras Al Khaimah. The exhibition will take place under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qassimi and H.E. Gerhard Bruegger, Consul General of Switzerland.

Tracking the Emirates is about people, who through art depict their roots or experiences in relation to the past, the present or of future life in the UAE. The artworks on display will be painting, mixed media, sculpture, installation, photography, 360% digital print, calligraphy and mosaic. Participating artists are:

Naasim Ahmed Al Majed, Mohamed Abdalla, Mohamed Al Astad, Salama Al Mansouri, Katy Chang, Martina Dresler, Khalifa El Shimy, Ayyub Russell Hamilton, Tim Kennedy, Andre C. Meyerhans, Mark Pilkington, Khalfan Abdul Rauf, Ms Rebecca Rendell, Naz Shahrokh, Linda Stephanian, Sandra Woest, Zahidah Daniel Zeytoun Millie.

SWISS ART GATE UAE aims to foster and promote a sustainable dialogue and mutual understanding between Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.

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areesh houses is a suggested fifth housing style in the history of al jazeerah al hamra. because there are no existing traces of these houses, only oral tellings, it is difficult to document the historical aspect of it.  but the style can be imliped in anecdotal references to temporary seasonal housing at the interior edge of the village for the khawatir and shihuh tribes, boat crew-members.  such construction has been extensively documented in northern ras al khaimah and the shimal plains by Walter Dostal.

oral histories within emirati families described al jazeerah al hamra as originally consisting of all areesh houses.

these photos are from Al Darwish heritage village in ras al khaimah. he has reconstructed several houses in an historical context.

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