John Harris: Architecture and Modernity in Dubai

Birleşik Arap Emirlikleri Ulusal Pavyonu'nun düzenlediği "John Harris: Architecture and Modernity in Dubai" etkinlik 2 Ekim günü saat 14:00 ile 17:00 arasında gerçekleşecek. Venedik Mimarlık Bienali biletleri etkinliği izlemek için yeterli.


The National Pavilion United Arab Emirates la Biennale di Venezia is pleased to present “John Harris – Architecture and Modernity in Dubai”, a session discussing the early architecture of Dubai at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia on October 2, 2014. The event falls under the Monditalia exhibition’s Freeport program, which is part of the Meetings on Architecture, organized by la Biennale di Venezia.


The investment into new infrastructures and buildings in the 1970s and 80s in the United Arab Emirates, highlight a period of considerable rapid urban growth and attracted architects from around the world. John Harris, a British architect trained at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, came to the Gulf Region in the 1950s. He was introduced to Sheikh Rashid, late ruler of Dubai, and laid the foundation of modern Dubai with the first urban plan in 1960, followed by an updated master plan in 1971. The office -today one of many international firms continuing to practice in the Gulf region- build during the 1970s and 80s a series of considerable climatic adapted architecture such as the Dubai World Trade Center–the first 39 story building the UAE. Followed by the Rashid Hospital, the New Dubai Hospital, the Metropolitan Hotel, and a series of bank headquarters and ambassador residences, these globally mostly unrecognized buildings by

John Harris shows a deep understanding of contextual conditions. In the 1970s and 1980s, when resources were limited in Dubai, how was it possible that architecture managed to be responsive to conditions of climate, culture and technological expectation? What can we learn from architecture developed at this early period of significant and rapid urban growth about the changing role of the architecture and the challenges of ‘sustainable’ architectural development today?


  • 2:00 – 3:00pm: screening of short films about early development of the UAE
  • 3:00 – 4:00pm: session introduction by Adina Hempel, followed by an interview of Mark Harris conducted by Todd Reisz
  • 4:00 – 5:00pm: presentation of photographs by Marco Sosa and panel discussion with all guests

Led by: Adina Hempel (Architect/Researcher)


  • Todd Reisz (Architect/Editor at Al Manakh)
  • Mark Harris (Architect and son of John Harris)
  • Marco Sosa (Architect/Photographer)

Further information:

Mouna Khorchid, [email protected]


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