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Concrete’s Firsts

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Exterior view of Concrete in Alserkal Avenue. Image courtesy of Alserkal Avenue


At Alserkal Avenue, Concrete, comprising a series of four warehouses reconfigured into a flexible multi-purpose space, is adding another ‘first’ to its list of accolades. To start, it’s the first building in the UAE to be completed by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). In mid-April this year, it also became the first OMA (and Dubai-based) project nominated for the highly esteemed Aga Khan Award for Architecture – among 20 that have been shortlisted for the award this year, which include two from Sharjah (Al Mureijah Art Spaces and Wasit Wetland Centre).

“From the start, the idea for Concrete was to create a space for international and local exchange,” said Iyad Alsaka, Partner at OMA. Through Alserkal’s programming, it has lived up to this objective, hosting exhibitions by institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, Hayward Gallery, UAE Unlimited and Samdani Art Foundation.

Amit Varadrajan is a staff writer at Canvas, covering news, politics, and culture
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