Between East & West: A Gulf
The third Kuwaiti participation at the 15th Venice International Architecture Biennale, the pavilion titled Between East and West: A Gulf looks past Kuwait’s borders to the contested hydrography of the Arabian/Persian Gulf and proposes a new master-plan for the region. In an area of physical, religious, and political division, the Kuwaiti pavilion tells the story of the Gulf’s islands and the possibilities they hold for a joint territorial project. The pavilion, located in the Arsenale, features a catalog of over 300 islands in the Gulf elaborating on their histories and character. In addition to this compilation, the pavilion features design proposals for a selection of these islands—made from young and established architectural practices in the region—aimed at how a masterplan could be implemented across these contested waters.
The third in a series of architecture pavilions which explores the national in Kuwait, this chapter considers the country’s role in the region as part of a larger conversation towards peace and cooperation. An unprecedented initiative for a national participation from the Gulf, the subject of this year’s exhibition was chosen by the NCCAL for its aim to initiate a conversation amongst the countries that border this body of water, and to imagine a collective project to unify the region.
The exhibition has been commissioned by Zahra Ali Baba of the NCCAL (National Council for Culture Arts and Letters – Kuwait). The curators are Hamed Bukhamseen from Kuwait and Ali Karimi from Bahrain. Accompanying the pavilion is a research publication both in English and in Arabic which is available within the exhibition space. For more detailed information about the participants, the pavilion, or to view the catalog please visit: www.kuwaitpavilion2016.com.
Photos © Giulio Boem
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CommissionerZahra Ali Baba
— National Council for Culture Arts and Letters - Kuwait (NCCAL)
CuratorsHamed Bukhamseen, Ali Karimi
Art Director / Graphic DesignerFahad Alhunaif
Publication Coordinator / EditorMuneerah Alrabe
Project Designers & Research ArchitectsSaphiya Abu Al-Maati, Shahab Albahar, Mai Albusairi, Nada Alqallaf, Rawan Alsaffar, Yousef Awaad Hussein
Financial TeamMohammed Al Ajmi, Mohammed Al Jameel
Administrative TeamAbdullah Albeeshi (Head of team), Noora Al Musallam, Jaber Al Qallaf, Jassim Al Shamali
Exhibited Design ContributionsAGi Architects, Behemoth Press with Matteo Mannini Architects, Design Earth, ESAS Architects, Fortuné Penniman with Studio Bound, PAD10, X- Architects
Written ContributionsFahad Bishara, Ahmed Makia, Fatma Sahlawi & Rashid bin Shabib, Rand Abduljabbar & Maitha Mezroui, Nesrin Tabatabai & Babak Afrassiabi, Noor Boushehri, Abdulatif Al-Mishari
The exhibition concluded with a joint declaration titled "Land" made by Pierre Bélanger of the Canadian Pavilion , Malkit Shoshan of the Dutch Pavilion, and James Taylor-Foster of the Nordic Pavilion.
Landscape Architecture Magazine
Google Arts & Culture
Creative Industries Fund NL - Reporting from Venice
Elle Decor - Italy
Archdaily Feature / Archdaily Preview
Design MENA Feature / Design MENA Preview
Harvard GSD Write-up
Arab Gulf States Institute - Washington DC: What if Arabistan?