Extensive publication charting Sharjah’s architectural history to be produced by Barjeel Art Foundation

SHARJAH, Sharjah-based Barjeel Art Foundation has announced the formation of the editorial board to complete a book that documents Sharjah’s modern architecture.

Expected in Spring 2020, ‘Building Sharjah’ will focus on designs completed for the city between the mid-1960s and mid-1980s.

The book will be the culmination of an intensive architectural research project that Emirati commentator and Barjeel Art Foundation Founder Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi began in 2016 to chart the story of Sharjah’s modern urbanisation.

Some of this documentation has been shared on Al Qassemi’s Instagram account @architectureofsharjah, which sheds light on the architectural heritage of the Emirate of Sharjah and highlights the forgotten names, images, and narratives of his home city.

These stories and many more will be presented in the upcoming publication, of which Al Qassemi is a co-editor. The book will include an unprecedented number of archival photographs that have never been shared with the public and present a Sharjah as it was in the 1970s and 1980s. Much of this archival material will be sourced from Sharjah’s residents and the experts who helped build the city. The book will also include designs and plans published for the first time. This collection of evidence will bring to life an overlooked era in Sharjah’s history and present the city as a globally significant locale in the studies of modernism and modernisation.

Alongside Al Qassemi, Building Sharjah’s editorial team includes co-editor Todd Reisz; lead researcher Reem Khorshid; photo editor Ammar Al Attar; and researcher Noura Al Mahmoud. In addition to the stories and events collected by the editorial team, there will also be contributions by commissioned writers who will enrich the book’s perspectives on daily life in the city.

The creation of the editorial board will open up the next phase of the project, which includes sourcing additional material from private archives via a social media campaign. Al Qassemi will use his Facebook and Instagram accounts to appeal for more public contributions. Current and former residents of Sharjah will be called upon to contribute to this wide-reaching effort. Images and data about Sharjah’s urban fabric are being entered into a digital database specifically designed for this project by Sharjah-based Fikra Design Studio.

After the book’s release, this database of Sharjah’s architectural and urban history will be made public and shared with local institutions.

Source: Emirates News Agency