Pearl Museum

Dubai, UAE / 2019

The pearl trade was an essential component of the economical prosperity in the Arabian Gulf during the pre-petroleum era. The process of diving and searching for pearls played a crucial role in the economical, social, and cultural life of our society during that time. This is reflected in our cultural heritage which includes a large repertoire of poetry and folktales about the hardships that the pearl hunters experienced as they were forced to separate from their loved ones for long periods of time. However, with the discovery of petroleum and the popular spread of artificial pearls, the lifestyle of the society drastically changed. A new era of modernity began, an era where the history and traditions that accompanied the pearl trade completely faded away.

 In 1970, under the sponsorship of the Emirates National Bank of Dubai, the writer, poet, and pearl merchant Sultan Al Owais donated all his valuable collection of pearl and sea treasures. His objective was to protect the collective memory of the community and to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the Gulf people.

 The task of studying and archiving this period of the region’s history was assigned to a team of designers at X Architects. The team was requested to design a museum that would commemorate this era in order to introduce the future generations to the history and way of life of their ancestors. The design was inspired by the diligence, mystery, and danger of the world of diving. The museum’s exhibition spaces were randomly distributed with a variety of shapes and sizes inspired by the nature of pearls.  

 When visitors enter any of the museum spaces, they feel fascinated by the extraordinary and unique interior which intrigues them and increases their desire to explore further.

The passageways which connect the exhibition spaces together are designed in such a way that ensures visitors submerge themselves in the exhibition, losing their sense of the outside world, thus simulating the process of the journey of diving into the sea when searching for pearls. 

 

design team

Ahmed Al-Ali, Farid Esmaeil, Jacky Tang, Yazeed Obeid, Moeen Sallam, Farah Abou Hamza, Khaled Abu Shahla, Zeina Derwan, Arvin Padayo, Andrew Tetrault

  • client

    Confidential

  • program

    Museum

  • built up area

    2,107 sqm

  • scope‎

    Architecture

  • status

    Proposal

Pearl Museum

Dubai, UAE / 2019

The pearl trade was an essential component of the economical prosperity in the Arabian Gulf during the pre-petroleum era. The process of diving and searching for pearls played a crucial role in the economical, social, and cultural life of our society during that time. This is reflected in our cultural heritage which includes a large repertoire of poetry and folktales about the hardships that the pearl hunters experienced as they were forced to separate from their loved ones for long periods of time. However, with the discovery of petroleum and the popular spread of artificial pearls, the lifestyle of the society drastically changed. A new era of modernity began, an era where the history and traditions that accompanied the pearl trade completely faded away.

 In 1970, under the sponsorship of the Emirates National Bank of Dubai, the writer, poet, and pearl merchant Sultan Al Owais donated all his valuable collection of pearl and sea treasures. His objective was to protect the collective memory of the community and to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the Gulf people.

 The task of studying and archiving this period of the region’s history was assigned to a team of designers at X Architects. The team was requested to design a museum that would commemorate this era in order to introduce the future generations to the history and way of life of their ancestors. The design was inspired by the diligence, mystery, and danger of the world of diving. The museum’s exhibition spaces were randomly distributed with a variety of shapes and sizes inspired by the nature of pearls.  

 When visitors enter any of the museum spaces, they feel fascinated by the extraordinary and unique interior which intrigues them and increases their desire to explore further.

The passageways which connect the exhibition spaces together are designed in such a way that ensures visitors submerge themselves in the exhibition, losing their sense of the outside world, thus simulating the process of the journey of diving into the sea when searching for pearls. 

 

design team

Ahmed Al-Ali, Farid Esmaeil, Jacky Tang, Yazeed Obeid, Moeen Sallam, Farah Abou Hamza, Khaled Abu Shahla, Zeina Derwan, Arvin Padayo, Andrew Tetrault

  • client

    Confidential

  • program

    Museum

  • built up area

    2,107 sqm

  • scope‎

    Architecture

  • status

    Proposal