John Harris: Architecture and Modernity in Dubai

Published on : Friday, September 26, 2014

logo_biennaleJohn Harris: Architecture and Modernity in Dubai is the name of the Freeport, the programme conceived as part of the exhibition Monditalia. The meeting, organized by the United Arab Emirates Pavilion, will take place at the Corderie of the Arsenale on October 2nd, 2014, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm, stage B.

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 -has 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.


The Freeport programme, conceived as part of Monditalia, will allow National Participations to match their Pavilions’ presences with a series of live talks, debates and movie projections in the Arsenale’s Corderie. Freeport animates the Arsenale on weekdays, as a counterpart to the Weekend Specials calendar, both essential part of the Meetings on Architecture organized by la Biennale di Venezia.

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