Rooted in the UAE, whilst engaged with both regional and international conversations, Sharjah Architecture Triennial will be held in multiple sites across the capital city of Sharjah, over the course of three months.  

Founded by Sheikh Khalid Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Urban Planning Council, Sharjah Architecture Triennial is set to reframe on-going conversations about the built environment of this diverse region and to address its social, economic, environmental and cultural context.  

Sharjah Architecture Triennial responds to a need for creating a new space for critical dialogue that includes architectural practitioners, scholars, government bodies, students, and the general public.  

Since the 20th century, rapid urban development throughout the MENASA region has produced multi-layered cities that simultaneously reflect historical shifts, fluid cross-cultural encounters, and aspirations for the future.

Sharjah’s history as a multi-ethnic trade port contributes to the urban density and cultural diversity that form its contemporary urban fabric. One of the UAE’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan urban centre up to the 1980s, Sharjah has enjoyed a more deliberate rate of development than other Gulf cities. Its built environment retains a human scale while historic, modern, and contemporary buildings coexist in a layered urban landscape, making it a rich site for this inaugural Triennial.

In the lead-up to the first edition, Sharjah Architecture Triennial will hold public programmes to help create fertile spaces for dialogue. The first programme is a panel discussion entitled, 'Shifting Morphology of Gulf Cities' which will be held in Sharjah on April 7th and is organised in partnership with the College of Architecture, Art and Design at the American University of Sharjah and the Sharjah Directorate of Town Planning and Survey.

“This is a crucial moment in the understanding and development of architecture and urban planning of the MENASA region," comments Sheikh Khalid Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Architecture Triennial. "The regional urban landscape is evolving at a tremendous speed and impacting how urban dwellers interact amongst themselves.

"Sharjah Architecture Triennial will offer an accessible platform for critical reflection on the social and cultural issues that we face at both regional and international levels. Through the creative process of this exchange, we believe that we can arrive at new ways of designing cities.”

Pictured: Aerial view of Corniche Street and Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, Sharjah          Image © Ieva Saudargaitė