nabil gholam architects has been invited by the British Council to participate to the International Showcase ‘’Atlas of the Unbuilt World ‘’ for the London Festival of Architecture 2013.
Atlas of the Unbuilt World provided a snap-shot of the future of architecture hosting over 60 models, from nearly 40 countries. The exhibition showcased architectural models of future projects from around the globe by some of the most by exciting practices and emerging studios working today. The projects have been nominated by international experts including architects, academics and writers and representatives from London’s embassies and cultural institutes.
nabil gholam architects presented Saifi 178, a mixed-use development that has been in the fruit of many years of planning. The Arts Centre is the most architecturally prominent piece of the Saifi Village project. A cube is sitting above a weathered steel gallery space, designed to shield the centre from the busy adjacent ring road. Internally the cube takes the form of a series of airy floors wrapped in the fractal skin of the external facade. Designed to pick up changing patterns of light, the facade transforms the centre into a great fragmenting mirror which becomes an ever changing and distorted tapestry of light and shadow.
For this project in particular, it was important to strip the context down to its bare minimum (metaphor for our concrete built city) turning the abstracted volumes modeled in concrete into a mute background against which the new additions in “crude” materials would stand in contrast. An oxidized Cor-ten steel base and a polished translucent plexiglass office cube on top were used to reflect the symbolic reality of the project once built without being entirely literal. The heavy materiality chosen for the entire model is meant to lend some gravitas to the place’s history and context.