ACCIONA completes Al Ain Unesco World Heritage project

Work at Bait Mohamed bin Khalifa (BMBK) restoration site by the culture-project arm of ACCIONA included technical development and museographic implementation

ACCIONA’s Cultural Engineering division has reported that it has completed the “exhibition implementation of Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa”, a historic house located in the Unesco World Heritage site of Al Ain in the UAE.

Bait Mohamed bin Khalifa (BMBK) is a cultural restoration project that aims to preserve and rehabilitate this historic home into a vibrant community center.

In a statement, ACCIONA explained that “BMBK is one of few remaining examples of the architecture of the ‘Transition Period’, between 1960 and 1970, the crucial period between the nation’s pre and post-oil eras. Although the home has a traditional layout, it was built using concrete, an innovative material at that time. As a result, the house provides valuable insights into the changing building techniques and the urban development of Al Ain during the transition to modernity.”

The house was built in 1958, near the Al Ain oasis, for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan (1909-1979) and his fourth wife, their daughters and sons. The layout and functions of the house reflect the traditional family structure and social rules of the time, with the strict separation of public and private life. The historic home has subsequently been repaired, restored and rehabilitated into a vibrant community center, which is set to resume its function as a gathering place for the Al Ain community.

ACCIONA was selected by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi to carry out the technical development and museographic implementation of the 2,840m² exhibition space at the site.

Its Cultural Engineering division specialises in the design and implementation of projects for museums, expo pavilions, exhibitions, events and interiors.

In this case, it carried out the technical development and museographic implementation of seven exhibitions rooms: Discovery room, Period room, Building 1, Building 2, Conserving room, Honoring and Living rooms, in addition to exhibition displays in the courtyard.

These include glazing walls with archival images, artefacts, and showcases, models of the original house and subsequent  modifications, set designs and ten  audio-visual and multimedia productions. Optical theaters with puppet ghost effects reproduce home life during Sheik Mohammed bin Khalifa’s time.

The complex will house temporary exhibitions in addition to the permanent display, added ACCIONA. It will also make spaces available for hire by the public, creative and educational programs, family activities in the RFLCT Arts Center and an onsite branch of Notes café.


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