Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — The capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, has many buildings that are part of the local heritage, but they often get lost in the hustle and bustle of the surrounding city. Emirati photographer Hussain Al Mousawi sheds new light on these neglected buildings and transforms them into paintings.
The interest in buildings is not limited to only specialists in architecture, according to what Al-Moussawi believes, but the challenge also lies in the presence of many elements, which are difficult to see as an independent entity, of people.
Al-Moussawi, in an interview with CNN in Arabic, said: “Most of these buildings are placed within a somewhat crowded frame, as you cannot pay attention to their details when, for example, driving a car, unless the building is unique in terms of to style. , size, or if placed in the middle of Relatively uncrowded frame.
Through the project “Facades of the UAE”, or “Emirates Facades”, Al-Moussawi works to “take the facades from their general framework to evoke the perception set by the imagination of the architect who designed the building.”
In his project, which was launched at the end of 2017, Al-Moussawi seeks to document the different architectural models and their evolution in different parts of the United Arab Emirates, including Abu Dhabi.
By showing only the facades by the frame, Al-Moussawi transforms ordinary buildings that have existed for years or even decades into detailed paintings with unique patterns.
In 1984, the late founder of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, issued a decree ensuring that public and private buildings in Abu Dhabi reflect the Arab and Islamic character and history of the region’s civilization, according to Al-Moussawi.
Al-Moussawi said: “I think this trend has been widespread since the creation of the union… Although I was not aware of this information, I see this (attitude) clearly manifested throughout the city.”
The photographer believes that this decision did not limit the architects, as some of them were able to combine the character of the region with modernity.
When working on the project, the photographer looked for what was unique from his point of view as a designer, but as the days passed, he realized the importance of looking at buildings that have historical and social significance.
“I realized that not all buildings are unique in terms of aesthetics, but their photography is important because it documents an architectural era that formed part of the cities’ identity,” explained the photographer.
Emirati considers each facade a “personal expression” and notes that “some of them are expressive, others are discreet, and some lack a real personality, but this diversity, or lack thereof, is what creates the public character of cities.”
Some of the facades are only a mask and have no organic relation to the interior of the building.
Some buildings, such as the “Obeid Al Mazroui” building in Abu Dhabi, are the best example, allowing the residents of each housing unit to form their own identity within the facade.
In addition to the “Obeid Al Mazrouei” building, Al-Moussawi documented other prominent buildings in the local architectural heritage, such as “Liwa Tower”, “Amara Al-Amira”, “Butti Al-Otaiba Tower” and “Al Bahar” Towers” .
The appearance of buildings has changed globally, and is oriented towards “world class”, and Abu Dhabi is no exception.
The buildings were dominated by the sandy color in harmony with the local environment, in addition to the presence of colorful buildings, whether in the details of the balconies or the color of the building as a whole, such as the “Al-Amira architecture”.
Al-Moussawi documents the buildings without guessing how the facades of the buildings will change in the future, but he is convinced that what he documents will be valuable years later.