This summer, London's Museum of Architecture (MoA) presents its first ever exhibition: Home: Contemporary Architectural Interpretations of the Home in the Arab world. The spaces and constructions encountered within the exhibition reflect on a typical or traditional representation of a home. A home that is specific to the region, recognizably linked to a country, known to an individual. The intention of the exhibition is to launch discussion and not to present a catalogue of architectural styles. In the show, new models, revised structures, the preservation of traditional building techniques and mythologies are examined and reviewed through contemporary installations.
The installations emphasize a specific element and represent fictional, long held misconceptions about and misremembered versions of the "way" in which people inhabit spaces. From the investigation of what "makes" a home when we take it with us, to readdressing the need for familiar, intimate spaces on a social housing scale, the exhibition presents a diverse, considered and inventive approach to the ideas of "home". Translations and transformations are present within each work, asking each of us what do we see of our own domestic space within and to engage in a broader discussion about needs and the necessity of the modern home.
Egypt's installation is by Shahira Fahmy Architects in collaboration with Bas Princen. This installation explores the boundaries between the interior and exterior, the home as a continuum between inside and outside. Iraq's project is from AMBS Architects, and incorporates Iraqi vernacular architecture with an exploration of simple, efficient technology. Technology that will both improve living standards and strengthen the community ties of the Iraqi people.
Bahrain's exhibition is by the Ministry of Housing and the Ministry of Culture. This installation explores "the wall, the house and the in-between", considering how this unplanned space, a nostalgic remnant of the traditional courtyard, has the potential to become the most intimate and qualitatively distinct space within the home. Lebanon's installation is by L.E.FT Design Collective. We are asked to imagine how the house might transcend the aesthetic and stylistic norms and preconceptions that are closely bound up with formal biases within the Lebanese traditional context.
Morocco enlisted KILO Architectures to focus on Moroccans who live abroad but carry something of their home with them. Qatar's project is by Thomas Modeen, who has fabricated a range of unique designs taking their inspiration from traditional Islamic Mashrabiya screening. For Yemen, Daw'an Mud Brick Architecture Foundation, led by Dr Salma Samar Damluji, has designed a threefold installation: A film, a wall, and a story, to present architecture not only about buildings.
The MoA is a new London based organisation dedicated to public engagement with architecture and the built environment. MoA's mission is to showcase and facilitate the world of architecture through exhibitions, special programming, education and events.
Through 7 July 2012
HOME: Contemporary architectural interpretations of the home in the Arab world
The Museum of Architecture
The Mosaic Rooms, A.M. Qattan Foundation
226 Cromwell Road, London
Tuesday to Saturday, 11:00 — 18:00