The Arab World Institute in Paris

Saturday, 24 October 2015 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Paris / Île-de-France
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Pont de Sully (front) with the Institut du Monde Arabe in the background to the right, to the left the northern buildings of the Jussieu Campus © David Monniaux/cc-by-sa-3.0

Pont de Sully (front) with the Institut du Monde Arabe in the background to the right, to the left the northern buildings of the Jussieu Campus © David Monniaux/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Arab World Institute (abbreviated “AWI”; French: Institut du Monde Arabe, abbreviated “IMA”) is an organization founded in Paris in 1980 by 18 Arab countries with France to research and disseminate information about the Arab world and its cultural and spiritual values. The Institute also promotes cooperation and exchanges between France and the Arab nations, particularly in the areas of science and technology, contributing to the understanding between the Arab world and Europe. Libya joined the institute in 1984.

The AWI is located in a building known as the Institut du Monde Arabe, the same name as the institute, on Rue des Fossés Saint Bernard in the 5th arrondissement of Paris. It was constructed from 1981 to 1987 and has floor space of 181,850 square feet (16,894 m2). Architecture-Studio, together with Jean Nouvel, won the 1981 design competition with a highly original plan for a difficult site that, over the years, have proven to be a successful design solution.

The building acts as a buffer zone between the Jussieu Campus of Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris VI), built in large rationalist urban blocks, and the Seine. The river façade follows the curve of the waterway, reducing the hardness of a rectangular grid and offering an inviting view from the Sully Bridge. At the same time the building appears to fold itself back in the direction of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district.

Le Maroc contemporain exhibition © flickr.com - Jean-Pierre Dalbéra/cc-by-2.0 Nuit Blanche © flickr.com - Rog01/cc-by-sa-2.0 Nuit Blanche © flickr.com - Rog01/cc-by-sa-2.0 Orient Express exhibition © Yann Caradec/cc-by-sa-2.0 Nuit Blanche © flickr.com - Rog01/cc-by-sa-2.0 Nuit Blanche © flickr.com - Rog01/cc-by-sa-2.0
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Le Maroc contemporain exhibition © flickr.com - Jean-Pierre Dalbéra/cc-by-2.0
In contrast to the curved surface on the river side, the southwest façade is an uncompromisingly rectangular glass-clad curtain wall. It faces a large square public space that opens toward the Île de la Cité and Notre Dame. Visible behind the glass wall, a metallic screen unfolds with moving geometric motifs. The motifs are actually 240 photo-sensitive motor-controlled apertures, or shutters, which act as a sophisticated brise soleil that automatically opens and closes to control the amount of light and heat entering the building from the sun. The mechanism creates interior spaces with filtered light — an effect often used in Islamic architecture with its climate-oriented strategies. The innovative use of technology and success of the building’s design catapulted Nouvel to fame and is one of the cultural reference points of Paris. Notably, the building received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The building houses a museum, library, auditorium, restaurant, and offices.

Read more on Arab World Institute, parisinfo.com – Arab World Institute and Wikipedia Arab World Institute (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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