Adaptive Reuse of Historical Neighbourhoods
Sharjah Art Foundation is primarily situated within the historical quarter of Sharjah, predominantly Al Mureijah, Al Shoyoukh and Al Shuwaiheen. The heritage neighbourhood’s urban form first developed along the creek, with souqs at the frontline, followed by a settlement area made up of courtyard houses, open spaces and an intricate network of meandering alleyways.
Adopting an adaptive reuse approach, the Foundation preserved existing historical structures with the intention to host a multitude of programmes that cater to contemporary art practices as well as recreational spaces, including a café and restaurant.
In Al Mureijah, five new buildings were inserted, providing flexible spaces capable of holding large-scale installations and events. The contemporary buildings dialogue with the historical neighbourhood by reinterpreting its elements and materiality.
Image caption: Aerial Image of Al Mureijah, 2018.