Public Garden for Sharjah

As part of the Sharjah Architecture Triennial’s Propositions section, a number of practices were invited to submit proposals for architectural interventions in the emirate. Building off a documentation of mounds along the Gulf coast, the proposal for a park in Sharjah explores the idea of a garden as a site for an idealized topographic intervention. Sited within the historic Al Mareija neighborhood in Sharjah, the proposition imagines a walled garden containing a bougainvillea topography and interspersed desert plant life.

An armature of mounds act as a scaffolding for bougainvillea to climb onto eventually creating a series of shaded rooms to inhabit. An ambulatory walkway underneath a corrugated aluminum shading structure defines the perimeter of the walled garden. Within its walls, podiums and benches growing from the pathways allow for moments of respite and contemplation. As an exploration of a temporary public garden, the use of corrugated aluminum and bougainvillea allows for a public park that grows over the course of the installation - transforming from sculptural armature to verdant topography within two to three years’ time. Bougainvillea are typically associated with house gardens in the region, and residential compounds use the climbing plant as a decorative feature, introducing color and life to the often barren enclosed spaces of the Gulf private realm. Using them as topographic elements in a bounded garden allows the public park to exist in a realm between the domestic and the communal, where the planting is domestic and reminiscent of a home garden but the creation of an artificial topography ties it to the communal project of earth making and marking in the Arabian peninsula.

DESIGN:
CIVIL ARCHITECTURE - HAMED BUKHAMSEEN & ALI ISMAIL KARIMI

PROJECT TEAM:
FATIMA NICKAHDAR, DALTON FONG

COMMISSION:
SHARJAH ARCHITECTURE TRIENNIAL – SHARJAH, UAE

YEAR:
2019

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