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.

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Adaptive Reuse of Modern Buildings

Since 2011, Sharjah Art Foundation has been expanding beyond the historical core of the city, across the Emirate of Sharjah. The Foundation acquired several buildings that were constructed between the 1960s and 1980s, with the intent to adaptively reuse them for various community programmes. These venues are located in Sharjah, Al Dhaid, Al Madam, Khorfakkan, Kalba and Dibba Al Hisn. Sharjah Art Foundation collaborates with local and international architecture studios to design the renovation of some of the sites.

Image caption: Adrián Villar Rojas,. Planetarium, 2015. Site-specific installation. Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Courtesy kurimanzutto, Mexico City; Marian Goodman Gallery, New York; and the artist. Installation view, Sharjah Biennial 12. Photo: Jörg Baumann. © 2015 baumann fotografie frankfurt a.m.

Adaptive Reuse of Modern Buildings Image

Contemporary Buildings

In Sharjah city and in Al Hamriyah, two buildings have been constructed since 2015, both of which maintain a particular scale and elements that allow them to dialogue with their urban environments. Rain Room Sharjah in Al Mujarrah was conceived to hold the permanent installation by Random International while Al Hamriyah Studios provides flexible spaces that alternate between exhibition venues and artist studios.

Image caption: Rain Room Sharjah by Random International. Photo by Ieva Saudargaite, 2018.

Contemporary Buildings Image
  • Adaptive Reuse

    Historical Neighbourhood
    Bait Al Hurma
    Bait Abdulraheem Jasem
    The Urban Garden
    Bait Gholam Ibrahim Al Issa
    Fen Restaurant
    Fen Café
    Bait Sultan Nasser Al Aboudi
    Bait Hussain Makrani
    Bait Habib Al Youssef
    Bait Haiderabadi
    Bait Al Ansari
    Bait Khalid Bin Ibrahim Al Youssef
    Information Centre
    Dar Al Nadwa
    Ceramic House
    Bait Al Serkal
    Bait Obaid Al Shamsi
    Majlis Sheikh Mohammad and SAF Shop
    Art Institute
    SAF Main Offices
    Collections Building

    Sharjah City
    The Flying Saucer
    Sharjah Old Radio Station
    Memory Park
    Sharjah Planetarium
    Photography Gallery
    Khalid Bin Mohammad School

    Al Hamriyah
    Hamriyah Art Centre
    Hamriyah Crown Bureau

    Kalba Factory
    Kalba Kindergarten

    Khorfakkan Cinema

    Al Dhaid
    Sheikh Khalid Palace Dhaid
    Preventive Medicine Centre Dhaid

    Al Madam
    Sheikh Khalid Palace Madam
    Madam Art Centre

    Dibba Al Hisn
    Dibba Al Hisn Ice Factory

  • Constructed by SAF

    Historical Neighbourhood
    Gallery 1 and 2
    Gallery 3
    Gallery 4
    Gallery 5
    Gallery 6

    Sharjah City
    Rain Room Sharjah

    Al Hamriyah
    Al Hamriyah Studios