By Lena Moosa, Features Editor, InsideOut www.gulfnews.com
Emaar’s sales office, based in the heart of the thriving Downtown Burj Khalifa district, was converted earlier this year into The Pavilion Downtown Dubai, a multifunctional public gallery space. Cultural Engineering, the body behind this philanthropic venture, also founded Shelter and Brownbook, the former a community hub and the latter a magazine.
Both are platforms for art and cultural development. Cultural Engineering’s latest collaboration with Emaar was to realise its vision of giving back to the community.
“The Pavilion will allow people to experience art, literature, dialogue and cuisine at one venue,” says Rashid Bin Shabib, co-director at Cultural Engineering and one of the two Shabib brothers behind this project. “We have been working with local creative institutions and individuals to make this happen, and thankfully the project is slowly becoming the city’s first non-commercial art and public space,” he adds. High ceilings and loft-style interiors stamp the term “arty” on the overall ambience.
Stepping inside, you are immediately forced to interact with the art around you as you find yourself standing in the first of the two exhibition spaces. “Since The Pavilion encourages multi-disciplines, we wanted the galleries to be part of the flow of the space,” says Rashid. Between these galleries are work tables and seating areas for people to lounge and brainstorm in an inspiring environment, while a café at the end opens on to a grassy area that appears to have been taken over by a wooden installation.
In the last few months The Pavilion’s galleries have showcased the work of several accomplished regional and international artists, including local light artist James Clar, Dutch sociologist and photographer Charlie Koolhaas and Iranian artist Laleh Khorramian. Its mission is to push preconceived boundaries of art and creativity in a bid to educate the people of Dubai and broaden their horizons. More info
The Pavilion Downtown Dubai www.pavilion.ae