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Sharjah Art Foundation announced the completion of the restoration and refurbishment of the 20,000 square meter Kalba Ice Factory, where the building has been modernized and its facilities transformed into an artistic and social space, overseen and designed by Sharjah-based 51-1 Architects. . Lima Peru.
The renovated building will be inaugurated on February 8, as part of the fifteenth session of the Sharjah Biennale, which will run from February 7 to June 11, 2023 under the motto “History is Present”. The Biennial also houses a group of works by artists: Rebecca Bellmore Ibrahim Mahama, Pak Khawaten Art Club, Doris Salcedo, Abdul Rahim Salem, Kahurangiareki-Smith, Inotick Storch and Nari Ward.
The Kalba Ice Factory was built in the 1970s before becoming an abandoned industrial site on the southern outskirts of the city. A concrete-framed building surrounded by an arched metal roof was used as a fish feed factory and ice storage depot. The factory became part of the Sharjah Art Foundation premises in 2015 and was used as one of the venues for the 12th Sharjah Biennale. It was then modernized by the firm Arquitectus 51-1 to include exhibition spaces, temporary housing facilities, a tent. Shaped restaurant and shaded walkway.
Hor Al Qasim, President of the Sharjah Art Foundation, said: “The city of Kalba is one of the most important cultural and environmental components of the Emirate of Sharjah, so we seek to revive this abandoned site by making it a multi-site. . A functional meeting point for residents of the region and visitors from other emirates and around the world. “
He added, “Preserving the industrial nature of the factory space and the surrounding ecosystem, this project continues the foundation’s vision and work to preserve, reuse and adapt sites of historical, cultural and environmental importance for future generations.” and to involve the local communities of the Emirates in the contemporary art programs that take place in them”.
The plant is located next to Kalba Creek and Mangrove Reserve, an area rich in environment and biodiversity in the Emirate of Sharjah, home to many endangered species, including the Arabian Kingfisher, Blanford’s Lizard, comb and green sea turtle Nest near the beach..
During the renovation of the building, its original architectural character, characterized by its industrial nature, was preserved with minimal interventions, as the natural light provided by the building’s tall windows creates an ideal space for large installations and performances, while the surrounding structure. Consisting of six apartments and a public space for the public, the 200 square meter building opposite has been converted into an artist’s studio. A restaurant has been added behind the factory with a direct view of the nature reserve, and in front of it is a garden that includes space to sit, eat, play and pray.
The Kalba Ice Factory project emerges as one of the main conservation projects launched by the Foundation in recent years to preserve the rich heritage of the architectural environment of the Emirate of Sharjah and create spaces for contemporary art exhibitions and gatherings. A place for the local community across its spectrum, as past projects include: Flying Saucer (2020), Rainy Room (2018), Al Hamriya Studios (2017) and Artistic Buildings in Al Mureija Square (2013).
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Source: Al Ittihad
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