#floornaturelive at the United Arab Emirates pavilion, Venice Biennale

Gianluca Giordano,

Dubai, United Arab Emirates,

Biennale di Venezia,

Venice Biennale,


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#floornaturelive at the United Arab Emirates pavilion, Venice Biennale 
Lest We Forget. Structures of Memory in the UAE. That’s the title of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) national pavilion making its debut in the 2014 Architecture Biennale, presents an exhaustive study of one hundred years of architecture and urban planning in the UAE region.

The exhibition “Lest We Forget. Structures of Memory in the UAE” is the curators’ clear response to the theme for the 2014 Venice Biennale put forward by Rem Koolhaas. “Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014” is an opportunity to carefully study architectural and urban development in one of the youngest countries in the world, as well as the current scenario of some of its more emblematic architecture.

The pavilion of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is broken down into four periods of time: 1914-49 Vernacular Architecture, 1950-70 Infrastructure and Urban Development, 1971-94 Structures of Modernity, 1995-2014 Retrospection and Innovation.

The focus of the study is on the 1970s and 1980s taking into account the fact that the UAE won independence in December 1971.

Here, visitors are encouraged to delve into the different periods, assisted by a timeline that compares development in the UAE with the rest of the world. Models, drawings, photos, recorded oral history complete the picture. It ends being a historical and social account of the three main cities in the Emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. Something that goes way beyond that iconic architecture that the general public knows, becoming a design research that seeks to reconnect with traditions, particularly in recent years. All of this not in terms of preservation, but to understand the relationship with the territory and its inhabitants necessary for sustainable progress, beyond the mere visual power of spectacular skyscrapers.
More information regarding the UAE pavilion and the experiences of the interns working in Venice can be found in the blog posts on The National, newspaper of the UAE.

Christiane Bürklein

Lest We Forget: Structures of Memory in the United Arab Emirates
Commissioned by: Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation.
Curator: Michele Bambling.
Address: Sale d’Armi Nord, Arsenale
Link: http://nationalpavilionuae.org/
14th International Architecture Exhibitions - Fundamentals
dates: 7 June - 23 november 2014
location: Venice (Italy)
Images: © Gianluca Giordano and Courtesy of UAE Pavilion