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UAE Architecture project takes steps towards preserving the nation’s modern architectural heritage

UAE Architecture project takes steps towards preserving the nation’s modern architectural heritage

November 7, 2019

Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates


The UAE Architecture project, launched under the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development’s Heritage and Arts sector, has taken strides in its efforts to document the country’s modern architectural heritage and develop architectural knowledge. Through a workshop held at the Cultural Foundation, congregating partners and experts from both the private and public sector, the project held open discussions on the current landscape of modern architectural heritage.

Hosted by the Ministry, the discussions explored the gaps in the sectors, looking into the systematic regulations and policies needed to preserve modern architecture. The workshop also looked into ways that partners could work together in sharing a common understanding of how to address the role architectural documentation plays in our society.

During the sessions, Professor Kevin Mitchell, Chancellor in the College of Architecture, Art and Design at the American University of Sharjah highlighted the importance of modern heritage as an important tool of teaching. This initiative lays a foundation for research and development to gain more knowledge about architecture and urban history of the UAE.

Commenting at the event, His Excellency Sheikh Salem Al Qassimi, Assistant Undersecretary of the Arts and Heritage Sector said, “Architecture is a vital component in the broader definition of culture. Great prominence is placed on preserving heritage sites, but it is also imperative to document and maintain under-appreciated modern architecture. The UAE Architecture project is in line with the Ministry’s mandate and new strategic objectives to document the country’s architectural heritage for the benefit of future generations.”

The workshop was attended by partners and key players in the UAE Architectural landscape , including representatives from Zayed University, Abu Dhabi Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, the Agha Khan Development Network, Dubai Municipality, the American University of Sharjah, Shurooq, Government of Ras Al Khaimah’s Department of Antiquities and Museums, and Vectors and Stuff.

The brand UAE Architecture aims to create a common space for architecture dialogue in the UAE and will highlight research, documentation and innovation associated to architecture, planning, urban design, and landscape architecture, emphasizing the role of architecture as an integral part of culture. UAE Architecture will bring together projects and initiatives by MCKD and partners as well as the community across the UAE.

The project is also creating the UAE Architecture Index, a comprehensive architectural database/archive and a research reference that combines current and new research on the built environment in the country. Students and researchers specializing in UAE architecture history and urbanism will be able to benefit from this inclusive resource, which also provides guidance to decision-makers in the field of preservation, planning and development. Designed to be the first federal and collaborative architecture index to gather and further knowledge creation and education on the built environment in the UAE, the index will be developed and managed by the Zayed Institute for Architecture, Heritage and the Arts at Zayed University.

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