Pfadauftakt in Bahrain: Pearling Site von Valerio Olgiati
Foto: Archive Olgiati
In Muharraq, a port city in the Kingdom of Bahrain, three oyster beds, a segment of coast and nine clusters of buildings consisting a total of 17 structures make up the Pearling Pathway, which in 2012 became a UNESCO Word Heritage Site that bears witness to the history of the pearl trade in the Gulf region.
The "Pearling Site" museum and visitors centre designed by Valerio Olgiati serves as the entrance to the cultural site and the starting point of the Pearling Pathway. Concrete elements placed along the boundaries of the property form a visible new reference point within the densely populated city. Partially overlapping the pearl divers trail, an extensive and contiguous space has now been created beneath a perforated concrete roof supported by a forest of columns and several windcatchers.
For the people in Muharraq, the structure is a new type of urban ensemble equivalent to a public park in size, as the Swiss architect states. A slightly set-back and enigmatic house houses the "Pearling Site" museum spaces, which record the cultural legacy of pearl diving in "testimony to an island economy", to quote the World Heritage Site's official name.
Collaborators: Sofia Albrigo (project manager), Anthony Bonnici
Local architect: Emaar Engineering
General contractor: Almoayyed Contracting Group
Materials: In-situ concrete, Steel
Volume: 49855 m3
Area: 6726 m2