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30 Aug 2007

Arabian Gulf Architecture


AMO to exhibit The Gulf at the 10th Istanbul Biennial

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(Rotterdam 30th August 2007) AMO, the creative think tank of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) is to exhibit The Gulf in Istanbul on the occasion of the International Biennial, which takes place from September 4th to November 4th 2007. The Gulf exhibition researched, curated and produced by AMO, represents in many ways the climax of the extensive analysis carried out by the think tank in the Gulf region. The work reveals an abounding form of urbanism, soon to redefine cities beyond this region’s own borders.

In the last twenty years the Arabian coast along the Gulf has undergone incomparable urbanization at breakneck speeds. Participating in the Istanbul Biennial’s attempt to show the linkage between art and urban life, this exhibition discusses the effects of these changes – exploring both the cultural and architectural implications of such rapid growth.

Focusing on seven territories in the Middle East including Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah, The Gulf exhibition reveals a comprehensive overview of the emerging climate in this part of the world.

Topics such as, exported urbanism and education diplomacy are explored, accompanied by facts and figures relating to population growth, oil depletion and the rise of an expat nation. Offering great insight into the incredible building boom in this area, The Gulf assesses the consequent effects of this construction hype on the value of architecture and the acceleration of urbanisation in developing countries.

Gulf development

Entitled ‘Not Only Possible, But Also Necessary – Optimism in the age of global war’, the 10th International Biennial in Istanbul is to focus on urban issues and architectural reality in the present day.

The Gulf exhibition will form part of a larger series entitled ‘Entre-polis’, located in Antrepo no. 3, Tophane. A Micro-city is to be constructed made up of a series of labyrinth-like streets containing a variety of exhibitions exploring the themes of migration, global trade and urban life.

AMO’s research into the Gulf has now been updated and revised following its first appearance at the Venice Biennale in 2006. The exhibition has been specially expanded to include further research carried out for Al Manakh, the book co-produced by AMO and Archis on this subject earlier this year.

Organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts and curated by Hou Hanru, Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs at San Francisco Art Institute, the 10th International Istanbul Biennial will open on 8th September with special previews for press on 4th and 6th September.

The Gulf developments, UAE : Images + Text from AMO 300807

Gulf developments

‘AL MANAKH’, analysis of Gulf Architecture developments


The counterpart to OMA’s traditional architectural practice is AMO, a design and research studio based in the company’s Rotterdam office, which is supervised by Rem Koolhaas and Reinier de Graaf.

While OMA remains dedicated to the realization of buildings and master plans, its subsidiary AMO is a think tank that operates in areas beyond the boundaries of architecture and urbanism – including sociology, technology, media, fashion and politics.

Currently AMO is working for the Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg) and for fashion house Prada. In addition it is engaged in studies for the European Union and various OMA projects. AMO’s resume includes work for Universal Studios, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Harvard University, Condé Nast, Heineken, and Ikea. Recent works include the development of in-store technology for Prada, a strategy for the future of Volkswagen, a strategy for TMRW, new organic fast food chain and work for Platform 21, new design institute in Amsterdam.

At Venice in 2005, AMO explored the expansion of the world’s museums and art galleries and investigated whether large extensions were necessary using the Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg as an example. In 2006 AMO exhibited The Gulf, a survey of key territories in the Middle East. The exhibition allowed them to present the results of their in-depth research into this area which culminated in the publication Al Manakh in July 2007.

Gulf Development Information and images from ARCHIS / AMO/OMA Rotterdam Aug 2007


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