BIG is lead architect for Abu Dhabi’s cultural reformation project WAREHOUSE421


Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has been commissioned by Salma bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation as lead architects on Abu Dhabi’s latest cultural project that involves the regeneration of two warehouse spaces.

The project is located in the capital’s main port, Mina Zayed where two existing warehouses will be transformed into functional and conservational venues to become Warehouse241, a cultural and artistic exhibition venue.

WH421 Render_Courtesy BIG WH421 Render_Courtesy BIG


“BIG’s design for Warehouse421 is the unlikely hybrid of generic industrial modernism and traditional Arabian architecture. The new art gallery forms the first step in re-creating the industrial Mina Zayed port site as the birthplace of an authentic contemporary Arabian vernacular,” said Bjarke Ingels, founding partner at BIG.

The design includes features such as concrete floors and white-painted steel that helps create a neutral backdrop for the artwork. The interior entails five courtyards of lush foliage, with fully glazed façades, providing natural light during the day.

Perforated Corten plates imitate the rusty industrial sheds common throughout Mina Zayed, and cover the patio roofs and windows ensuring shade.

The project is currently under construction and will be completed by the opening date on 19 November. VIEW IMAGES HERE. 

Bjarke Ingles will be giving a talk titled the ‘Social Infrastructure’ on Thursday 19 November at 5pm as part of the Foundation’s Muntada talks programme during Abu Dhabi Art.

Look out for DesignMENA’s interview with BIG next week.


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