OMA lands in Dubai with Concrete


Earlier this week, OMA designed Concrete, opened its doors at Alserkal Avenue, in Dubai. A beautifully balanced symphony of monochrome textures, deep colors and translucent screens. Featuring circular ceiling tracks and movable panels – all elements to choreograph a dynamic space for performance and display. The inaugural exhibition, “Syria: Into the Light” showcased a collection based on the theme of ‘Portraits and Figures’.

ARCHITECTEM was at the opening reception, capturing details and embedded events within Concrete, its conversation with the art, the visitors and its context. 

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Art, Lines, Form and Space : : Zaha Hadid \ Serpentine Sackler Gallery

ARCHITECTEM visited the Serpentine exhibition of paintings and the rarely seen drawings of the pioneering and visionary architect Zaha Hadid. The exhibition is housed in the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, an extension completed in 2013 and one of Zaha Hadid Architects’ first permanent buildings in central London.

Drawing and painting were fundamental to Hadid’s practice. Influenced by Malevich, Tatlin and Rodchenko, she used calligraphic drawings as the main method for visualising her architectural ideas.

Mariam Husain captures Zaha’s work on paper, canvas and its physical context. The process and the spatial expression of Zaha’s investigations. Anything but a silent, still conversation between art, lines, forms and its witnesses.

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Reclaimed Land and the two Seas : : Bahrain

ARCHITECTEM contributor Ali Lari delves in narratives of ownership, inaccessible coastlines, and loss in Damestan, a small village in the island Kingdom of Bahrain. “This is not the story of a village in Bahrain rather the story of Bahrain in a village… This is the story of two seas.”

The 2 Seas, Bahrain

Bahrain – an archipelago of 33 islands [and growing], historically known as Dilmun, stood a fertile agricultural island and important trading route.

Bahrain is the sea. Bahrain literally means ‘two seas’.

The splendor of the island, with its fresh ground water feeding her lush green landscape was why Bahrain, then Dilmun, was known as the Garden of Eden in the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh.

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Fondazione Prada : : Curating spaces and textures : : OMA \ Milan

Ayesha Sabri, ARCHITECTEM Milan based contributor, visited OMA designed Fondazione Prada and presents a visual narrative of the textures and spaces. The images are accompanied by her thoughts about the design interspersed by statements from the architect, Rem Koolhaas.

The Fondazione Prada has dominated the Milanese art and architecture scene since it opened. On visiting the Fondazione, you are greeted by a dynamic dialogue between pre-existing industrial structures and OMA’s recent interventions. A visual treat, pops of color, simplistic signage, and an overwhelming array of textures and surface treatments.

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Graphic London: Of Doorways and Frames

ARCHITECTEM microNarrative Graphic London captured and curated by Mariam Hussain. Design vignettes, bold compositions, and graphic imagery that celebrate urban London are the focus of this visual series. An inventory of dynamic snapshots preserving an archive of everyday moments; streetscape as microcosm of the vibrant metropolis.

“Behind all seen things lies something vaster; everything is but a path, a portal or a window opening on something other than iteself. “

 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Wind, Sand and Stars)

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Graphic London: Visual Cornucopia

Second installment of Graphic London captured and curated by Mariam Hussain. Design vignettes, bold compositions, and graphic imagery that celebrate urban London are the focus of this visual series . An inventory of dynamic snapshots preserving a narrative of everyday moments; streetscape as microcosm of the vibrant metropolis.


Imagine a city where graffiti wasn’t illegal, a city where everybody could draw whatever they liked. Where every street was awash with a million colours and little phrases. Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city that felt like a party where everyone was invited, not just the estate agents and barons of big business. Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall – it’s wet.

― BanksyWall and Piece

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Kuwait microNarrative : Souk Sharq

Not to find one’s way around a city does not mean much. But to lose one’s way in a city, as one loses one’s way in a forest, requires some schooling. Street names must speak to the urban wanderer like the snapping of dry twigs, and little streets in the heart of the city must reflect the times of day, for him, as clearly as a mountain valley. This art I acquired rather late in life; it fulfilled a dream, of which the first traces were labyrinths on the blotting papers in my school notebooks.

Walter Benjamin

Rafael Portilo, our Kuwait based contributor, on an ambulant exploration of Souk al Sharq corniche records his stroll in sepia toned images.

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