Sharjah Architecture Triennial 2023 has recently started and I have to say I love it! Let me start by confessing I know nothing about art or architecture (that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it) so I won’t be giving any commentary but I’ll share some photos, videos, the venues and some information along the way.
The full title for Sharjah Architecture Triennial 2023 is The Beauty of Impermanence: An Architecture of Adaptability. When you visit, you’ll find out why.
What is Sharjah Architecture Triennial?
Sharjah Architecture Triennial is not just for architects. It’s for me and you to go along and see innovative projects but also for our thoughts about the world, the spaces around us and practices to be challenged. I certainly spent some time contemplating. It offers a perspective on how architecture shapes our lives and also how our lives and the world shape architecture.
Many exhibits are multi-sensory and children can enjoy them as much as adults.
This one was my favourite.
To learn more, visit the Sharjah Architecture Triennial website.
Sharjah Architecture Triennial venues
Here’s a quick rundown of the Sharjah Triennial venues in 2023.
- The main venue is Al Qasimi School, a disused school behind the Africa Hall on Government Square. The exhibits are both indoor and outdoor.
- The next major venue is the old Al Jubail Fruit and Vegetable Market, behind Jubail Bus Terminal. The exhibits here are all in the covered market hall.
- The Slaughterhouse is within walking distance of Jubail Market
- Sharjah Mall is on the Corniche around Al Khan Lagoon, going toward Al Khan Beach and Sharjah Aquarium.
- Industrial Area No. 5 is just before the junction of Maleha Rd (S102/112) and First Industrial St, heading towards the city.
- Al Madam Buried Village is just off the E88 going towards Al Ain from Al Madam centre.
You can also click on the map to take you to the venues on this Sharjah Triennial page.
Al Qasimi School
This is the main venue. Plan to spend at least one hour here, but I’d say one and a half to two hours to take time to see everything and enjoy the calmness of some of the exhibits.
Here are a taster of what you will see. Of course, you have to go there to experience it fully.
Make sure you don’t miss the rooms upstairs, especially this one.
Below is part of an exhibition on floating houses in Ecuador
Once you finish, relax in Abayomi Cafe & Restaurant. Run by Cafe Fen, they do coffee, croissants and cakes, but also dishes such as Jamaican jerk chicken and goat stew with Jolof rice. (They assured me this was actually made by a Nigerian chef.) If you have a Fazaa card, you can get 20% off.
Stop off in the Reading room and the Design Store on your way round.
I managed to get free parking on the street at the South Entrance and I think you can park for free in front of the Africa Hall but double check. If not, you can pay by mobile.
Old Jubail Market
I love how the Emirate of Sharjah uses old buildings to showcase art, whether it’s disused school, ice factory or market or a restored merchant’s home. It creates such a special setting somehow and the old Souq Al Jubail was no exception.
The main area of the venue is the central hallway that runs throughout the market. The vision here is described as retro-futuristic.
And on the other side, walk through a maze made from recycled materials, past the Museum of Artifice and on to…
Don’t miss the exhibits in some of the shops.
At one end is a cinema which shows a film (not sure what) between 6 and 9 pm.
Beyond that, you can climb eight flights of scaffolding to get a view over the area towards Flag island, Central and Jubail Souqs, Al Majaz and Ittihad Park.
To be added after my next visit. Come back later!
Industrial Area No 5
Still to be added
Still to be added
Al Madam Buried Village
Still to be added.
But here are some photos from the buried village to set the scene in the meantime.
More resources to help you explore the Emirate of Sharjah
Before you go to explore Sharjah Triennial, why not buy my guide book to the Emirate of Sharjah to help you discover more and plan better. It includes walking tours and itineraries. You can also just buy the e-book of walking and cycling tours. (See the bottom of the page.)
- Follow on Instagram or Facebook for regular photos, tips and snippets of cultural and historical information too.
- Sign up for the Glimpses of the UAE Newsletter
- Take me to the Glimpses of the UAE Map to find nearby locations and plan my trip.
- See some of my hiking trails, walks and off-road trips on Wikiloc.
- To see my Oman trips, visit In Scotterati Footsteps.