- Award Cycle:Status:ShortlistedCountry of origin:BahrainLocation:Muharraq, BahrainClient:Sheikha Mai Al-Khalifa, Authority for Culture & Antiquities Conservation Department, Manama, BahrainArchitect:Authority for Culture & Antiquities Conservation Department, Manama, BahrainDesign:2010-2013Size:330,000 m²Completed:2013-ongoing
This site, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, is an exceptional testimony to the pearl trade in the Arabian Peninsula, on which Bahrain thrived during the 19th century. In a visionary effort to maintain the spirit of this historic city a number of conservation projects as well as some new buildings and schemes for the public spaces have been implemented by an NGO and the government. A part of the project, titled “Pearl Route” and consisting of architectural properties, oyster beds and parts of the seashore, encapsulates every aspect of the pearling economy. A pathway allows visitors to discover the historical area, along with a newly built visitor centre and two public squares. It is an ongoing project on a great scale, which aims to conserve and adapt ancient structures, as well as create new ones and make them coexist harmoniously. This broad project demonstrates a sensitive approach to heritage conservation and contemporary public space planning.