Daydreams can catalyze real change. Look to the far-reaching influence of designers who choose to work in the hypothetical, where unrestricted creativity is unfettered by cost, resources, and environmental impact. If only most of the Middle East’s fantastical architecture stayed imaginary.
Residents of the world’s tallest building in Dubai are being punished over unpaid maintenance fees – some of them unjustly. In order to pressure property owners who have defaulted on their annual payments, developers Emaar warned residents that air-conditioning and elevator service would be cut until they receive their money.
Bob Hale, of Rios Clementi Hale Studios, wrapped his house in LA’s Cheviot Hills neighborhood in a perforated-metal screen like the Arabian screens the mashrabiya, which provide shade and privacy. But Hale’s home is punched with “ahava” - the Hebrew word for love.
It began as a goofy Instagram project. Malaysian artist and architect Red Hong Yi went on a month-long mission, creating a piece of edible art every day. The result is an incredible visual feast.
It was the first time that a team from Israel participated in a Solar Decathlon intercollegiate architecture competition but the group, which represented several higher education institutes, recently took fourth place overall in China.
Public transportation is not wildly popular in Saudi Arabia since fuel is so cheap and many households have private drivers to escort them from place to place, but the government is trying to shift public perception of this mode of movement by developing a brand new metro system. And Zaha Hadid has recently won a bid […]
Turkey’s Taksim square protest flared up last week when police took drastic measures to clear activists from Gezi Park- slated for destruction to make way for yet another shopping center. But that’s not the only unsustainable project the government is pursuing in the name of economic growth. We list 5 of the major ones.
Whether or not a 100,000 square meter office complex could possibly come with even a net environmental benefit is debatable, but the fact that a design wrapped in green won an international competition for such a complex signals a potential shift in Turkey’s urban planning.
Refrigeration is perhaps one of the greatest inventions of modern man, but it has come at a price. Not only do they require a great deal of energy to stay cool, but they also rely on ozone-depleting chloro-fluorocarbons (CFCs), or freon (though some countries have phased these out.) As an increasing number of people walk […]
Every three years, the Aga Khan Architecture Award acknowledges projects relevant to Islam that are culturally, environmentally and socially superior. Accompanied by a generous $1 million prize, it is among the world’s most prestigious architecture awards. Apartment #1 by Tehran’s Architecture by Collective Terrain is one of 20 projects nominated, and though it faces stiff […]
Like many countries in the Middle East/North Africa region, Turkey is undergoing rapid expansion and that’s not necessarily a good thing, especially since so many developers are perpetuating an archaic building model that involves a lot of concrete and glass and often completely disregards the need to preserve existing vegetation or plan for climatic concerns. […]
We have to admit that this isn’t anything particularly “green” about this see-saw, but it does harvest the movement of people to make music. And that’s just downright cool. A temporary installation designed for last year’s Marrakech Biennale, The Rise and Fall blends architecture and art to question how people occupy spaces and how those spaces […]
Although the Sahara desert used to be a green retreat for giraffes and hippos 5,000 years ago, it is now a giant, sometimes rolling landscape of sand. A lot of sand. In fact, roughly two thirds of Algeria is made up of sand, according to the authors of a study published in the Arabian Journal […]
Finding building materials that are appropriate for hot desert conditions is one of the biggest challenges facing the Middle East and North Africa region’s construction industry. While earth used in architecture found in Egypt, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere is typically considered the most effective material for keeping interior temperatures low while the sun acts like […]
Istanbul residents have been dreading this moment: construction has broken ground on an enormous International Financial Center designed to position the Turkish economy among the world’s top ten. Despite some green concessions, including green roofs, on-site renewable energy generation, and plenty of urban green space, locals who must contend with greater traffic congestion and other […]
We are accustomed to writing about art and architecture that addresses environmental and social problems in the Middle East, but nothing as interesting as Larissa Sansour’s Nation Estate has crossed our desk before. Conceived in 2011 when Palestinian authorities appealed to the United Nations for nationhood status, the sci-fi short film and photographic series takes […]
If there’s something that the Israelis do as well as or even better than clean tech, it is agriculture. When the state was established in the mid 20th century, the first pioneers faced large swaths of dry and barren land. It is part of the country’s legacy that they then proceeded to transform this wasteland […]
Now in Abu Dhabi, a wild 56 foot tall pavilion cleans air around it; like taking 260 cars off the road at any given time. New York’s HWKN (Hollwich Kushner) is a New York based architecture and design office whose projects span the worlds of architecture, branding, and development. Their spiky blue air-scrubbing pavilion called Wendy has […]
One of the most recognizable and untamable architects on earth, Iraqi Zaha Hadid is celebrating two grand openings of her creations this week, including the Galaxy SOHO commercial and retail complex in Beijing, China. Swooping and fluid, and reminiscent of dunes and rivers and other natural features common in the Middle East, the sprawling 330,000 […]
Chicago’s Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat recently named the Burj Qatar the world’s best new tall building, which is curious to us for several reasons. First of all, famed French architect Jean Nouvel designed the building but we can’t find it on his website. Is he not proud of his towering child? Second, there’s a […]
Around 7pm in autumn, a golden light cradles La Alhambra, a Moorish fortress and palace complex located in Granada, Spain. The reddish exterior walls and the surrounding woods stand with their shoulders square and crowns basking in the glow, as if to show off their undisputed majesty. Indeed, the UNESCO World Heritage site is so […]
The Archaeological Museum of Rabat was first built in 1932 and is badly in need of a renovation, so Archi5 submitted plans for a new solar-powered facility that would rise in harmony with its surrounding. Comprised of a series of boxy ribbons filled in with glazing, the conceptual museum is a fluid space that provides […]
A surprising number of people still live in caves throughout the Middle East, but hardly any of them have a home that is as luxurious as the enviable Columbarium in Israel. Iranians live in caves, some Turks live in caves, and one of the region’s most sought-after Couchsurfing hosts brings guests to his tranquil lair […]
Farshid Moussavi’s inaugural project in the United States, the sharp Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, is expected to achieve LEED Silver certification if it performs as designed. Born in Iran but currently based in London, Moussavi recently split up with her former work and life partner and beat out a lot of competition to win the […]
Rock Stadium by Lebanese design firm MZ Architects hasn’t been built yet but it has already won two coveted international design awards, including Best Future Building of the Year at the 2012 LEAF Awards. Marwan Zgheib accepted this year’s award for Al Ain’s sunken Rock Stadium in London on 21 September, sharing a slice of […]
Kuwait is making its debut at the 13th Venice Biennale this year, and they’re doing so with some serious style. The pavilion features a cavernous industrial space interrupted with dangling speakers, orange cushions and abandoned master plans, and it was commissioned by the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCAA). Unlike many of the […]
Though wallpaper is not popular in the Middle East, this wallpaper can help repair sick building syndrome. I grew up in a duplex, my mom warned us that the walls have ears. Now the walls can have lungs too. Germany-based Blücher Technologies has created a material called Saratech Permasorb Wallpaper that removes toxins embedded in wall […]
Israel’s Mediterranean city of Bat Yam is pulling itself out of obscurity with one of the most unusual art spaces we’ve seen. Located just south of Tel Aviv – the country’s most well-known seaside city, the Riviera used to be a thumping nightclub in the 1950s and 1960s. Now it’s a very yellow and open industrial-chic art […]
We’ve long extolled the virtues of earth building, but it turns out that Iran’s simple clay and mud brick buildings are a leading cause of casualties during strong earthquakes. Over the weekend, two earthquakes measuring 6.3 and 6.4 on the richter scale hit the country’s east Azerbaijan province, killing at least 360 people and displacing […]
The privately-owned Abdali development company promises that the new 384,000 sqm commercial center in the heart of Jordan’s capital Amman will offer “lush inviting spaces that beckon and call for your attention.” “Notice the elements subtly woven into the new downtown’s [sic] environment,” their web marketing person gushed. “Delight in the blossoming urban forest close […]