Foto © ADD.apt
Foto © ADD.apt
Foto © ADD.apt
Foto © ADD.apt
Foto © ADD.apt

We Rest at the Bird's Nest

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Industrial area 5, Sharjah, Vereingte Arabische Emirate
Sharjah Architecture Triennial

Mechanical and unambiguous, Sharjah’s industrial zone is perpetuated through self-organizing moving parts. Its metabolism starts somewhere within piles of automotive waste which make their way through tracts of dusty roads on bicycles; sorting, cleaning, and dispensing. Store-fronts display and sell a singular function, lights, steering wheels, oil filters, finding new place and purpose. The metabolism of the industrial zone is seemingly inevitable, where men string together in belts conveying dollops of the region’s waste and transforming them into products shifted back to the beginning of a new product life. Ironically, within this animated system of work, the question ‘where does life happen?’ reverberated at every glimpse of empty plots and unoccupied interstitial spaces.

It happens here, in the corner of an automotive shop inside a cage. And here, in the backdrop of a welding workshop cooing and displaying. Also here, in an alleyway paced with potted plants there exists a negotiation within the machine, a space where it is at rest; a crucial digestive step. These spaces, though few, currently serve as the point of rest at which ‘life happens’. Occupying these spaces, birds have found themselves as pets in bird cages, serving as dependents to be cared for. Here the people of the industry spend their rest tending and admiring, a slow process offering a point of ‘natural’ relief in a mechanical landscape. What happens when space is adapted to give platform to this dispersed agency in order to recognize a collective point of rest? This is the investigation of NAME.

Nothing is wasted. This space focuses on deriving its composition from materials inherent to the industrial area. Piles of metal waste in careful rows and clustered heaps, scraps of paper being shoveled into a truck bed, and a mound of vegetative waste expelling a pungent organic smell so foreign to the mechanical scape; this materiality so clearly defines the obscure connection between the externals and internals of the industrial zone. The cyclical relationship between the city and the industrial zone proves the law of impermanence so vital to the transformation of waste, informing the methodology on which this space is composed.

In industrial area 5, a circular array of seating nested inside resting rooms surrounds a cylindrical open atrium stretching up to the sky. Above these spaces the call of birds emanates from small holes, inviting the familiar into a negotiation to come and nest where there is rest. Arrayed in rows, small dwellings composed of domestic paper and grass offer sanctuary and meeting grounds for the region’s birds. This layered tower composed of elementary organic waste found in the area suggests its lifespan abides to the impermanence of nature. At the end of its use, the structure will find its way back to its middle through the natural digestion of the industrial zone or perhaps find a new beginning. This space offers a template for collective agency by reinforcing the simplest habits of rest; tending, caring, and observing.

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