TRANSFORMATIONS: THE EMIRATI NATIONAL HOUSE
This housing type was introduced in the 1970s to settle a transient population, and urbanize a newly emerging nation. Architecturally it was based on a simple diagram: a courtyard housing typology derived from traditional precedents. As residents’ needs evolved, a series of changes took place. These were functional: addition of rooms, enlargement of living spaces, and the raising of enclosure walls to ensure privacy. Other modifications were for aesthetic or symbolic reasons; replacing entrance doorways, repainting outer walls and elaborate landscaping. The house reflected its inhabitants’ needs, culture and lifestyle.
Modifications resulted in visual diversity, moving away from a monotonous appearance. In presenting this case the pavilion hopes to first, move the discourse concerning the urban environment in the UAE to one that is grounded in the everyday life of its citizens. Secondly, to present an example in which architects have provided residents with the necessary tools to modify their own environment. The story of the national house is told through three thematic sections: a historical part documenting the origins of these houses; a neighborhood/city scale showing the diversity and prevalence of this housing type throughout the UAE; and lastly the house/building scale enabling visitors to experience the architectural and urban qualities of the Emirati National House.
"Transformations: The Emirati National House"
National Pavilion United Arab Emirates
15th International Architecture Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia (2016)
Commissioner: Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation
Curator: Yasser Elsheshtawy
All content and images courtesy National Pavilion United Arab Emirates - la Biennale di Venezia. All content and images cannot be reproduced without permission.