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The building of a former fish feed mill and ice storage from the 1970s, located in the southern outskirts of the town of Kalba, on Sharjah’s East coast, is being used by the Sharjah Art Foundation since 2015 as venue for the Sharjah Biennial and other art activities.
The area is next to Kalba Creek (Khor) and the Al Qurm Nature Reserve, a mangrove and wildlife sanctuary, home to rare bird species, sea turtles and mammals.
The architecture studio 51-1 Arquitectos, based in Peru (51), Lima (1), has been commissioned by the Sharjah Art Foundation to undertake a strategic and careful refurbishing of the abandoned factory, with the minimum level of intervention to allow temporary art installations in its naves without losing its powerful spatial qualities as an industrial ruin. The building has a distinctive saw-tooth shaped roof, made from corrugated metal and an open concrete frame.
The project consisting of a series of interventions and the addition of new facilities will turn the whole site of 20,000 sqm into a cultural centre, with exhibition and event spaces, workshops, artist residences, restaurant, etc. The construction phase started in 2020.
© Text based on information from Sharjah Art Foundation, and 51-1 Arquitectos.
© Photos: Universes in Universe, unless otherwise indicated
The Afterlives of the Postcolonial. Online and in-person, 5 - 7 March 2022. An integral part of the framework for Sharjah Biennial 15, opening in 2023.
The Sonic Image. 4 March - 4 July 2022, Al Mureijah Square, SAF. The largest institutional solo exhibition by the artist to date. Curator: Omar Kholeif.