Between East and West: A Gulf

Editor & Publication Coordinator

Between East and West: A Gulf
Editor& Publication Coordinator  

The third Kuwaiti participation at the 15th Venice International Architecture Biennale, the pavilion titled Between East and West: A Gulf looks past Kuwait’s borders to the contested hydrography of the Arabian/Persian Gulf and proposes a new master-plan for the region. In an area of physical, religious, and political division, the Kuwaiti pavilion tells the story of the Gulf’s islands and the possibilities they hold for a joint territorial project. The pavilion, located in the Arsenale, features a catalog of over 300 islands in the Gulf elaborating on their histories and character. In addition to this compilation, the pavilion features design proposals for a selection of these islands—made from young and established architectural practices in the region—aimed at how a masterplan could be implemented across these contested waters. 

The third in a series of architecture pavilions which explores the national in Kuwait, this chapter considers the country’s role in the region as part of a larger conversation towards peace and cooperation. An unprecedented initiative for a national participation from the Gulf, the subject of this year’s exhibition was chosen by the NCCAL for its aim to initiate a conversation amongst the countries that border this body of water, and to imagine a collective project to unify the region. 


The exhibition has been commissioned by Zahra Ali Baba of the NCCAL (National Council for Culture Arts and Letters – Kuwait). The curators are Hamed Bukhamseen from Kuwait and Ali Karimi from Bahrain. Accompanying the pavilion is a research publication both in English and in Arabic which is available within the exhibition space. For more detailed information about the participants, the pavilion, or to view the catalog please visit: www.kuwaitpavilion2016.com. 

Photos © Giulio Boem