Abu Dhabi: Abrahamic Family House is 'once-in-a-generation type of project', says architect Sir David Adjaye

He highlights the importance of gardens and light, and how an architect can create space that unites the past and looks toward the future


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Wed 26 Oct 2022, 9:43 AM

Last updated: Wed 26 Oct 2022, 2:07 PM

Internationally acclaimed architect Sir David Adjaye gave an insightful talk on The Abrahamic Family House project at the Culture Summit Abu Dhabi which concluded on Tuesday evening.

Adjaye, the designer behind the project in Abu Dhabi which brings together three places of worship representing the different faiths under the Abrahamic patriarchy, talked in detail about the project, which he described as a “once-in-a-generation" type of project.

“Religions want to express their identity, so they create an architecture that has to do with themselves and that becomes propagated through history... and it becomes a style. This is a moment where the reverse was being asked. So now how do you talk about all the things that are the common traits? And how do you bring them into a new form?”

Adjaye highlighted the importance of gardens and light in architecture and how an architect can create space that unites the past and looks toward the future.

“This is about respecting three extraordinary religions and their histories and their cultures and their evolutions,” he added.

In a different session on the critical subject of culture and climate change at Culture Summit, Sumayya Vally, architect and co-founder of Johannesburg-based practice Counterspace said: “We need to have artists and cultural thinkers at the highest level of all institutions. We need to really involve people who think differently and who think creatively, well how to shift the paradigm rather than only relegating them to the realm of responding. We need to be at the forefront of change.”

Culture Summit Abu Dhabi was organised by the DCT Abu Dhabi in collaboration with global partner organisations bringing expertise in diverse fields, from culture and arts to media and technology. Partners include UNESCO, Economist Impact, Google, the Design Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation and the Recording Academy. Other participating partners include Image Nation Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Film Commission, Sandstorm Comics, Cultural Foundation, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Berklee Abu Dhabi, Culture Resource, Arab Fund for Arts & Culture, and the Institut Français.


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