Abu Dhabi: The Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has announced that Al Ain’s Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa has been honoured by the 2022 Arab Architects Awards in the Adaptive Reuse category.
The association of arab architects-sponsored awards take place every three years and are dedicated to showcasing the best architectural projects as well as honouring the most visionary architects in the Arab world. The award ceremony was held in Amman, Jordan, and gathered hundreds of architects, urban planners, engineers, and designers in the Arab region.
For the 2022 Awards, the jury shortlisted 17 projects across seven categories, which are private housing, large-scale housing projects, public buildings, educational facilities, cultural, museum, and art facilities, hotels, tourism, entertainment, office buildings, commercial buildings, as well as adaptive reuse.
Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa won the award with its adaptive reuse of a historic house into a vibrant and creative public space, which enabled the former home of the late Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan to be transformed into a community centre open to all.
The building is a rare surviving example of Abu Dhabi’s architectural transition teriod, exhibiting the fusion of tradition and modern building materials as well as techniques. The place offers valuable insights into the changing social, historical and architectural traditions of the nation during the 1950s and 1960s.
The restoration project preserved and rehabilitated the architectural fabric of the building while creatively repurposing the spaces for multi-purpose public use and sensitively adding new elements to support its new use as a community centre.
After transformation, the place includes spaces for hire by the public, a permanent exhibition narrating the history of the house as well as that of Al Ain, an art learning centre, and a cafe.