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Al Qasba Theatre

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
1 of 9Magma Architecture

The Al Qasba is the main cultural centre of the Emirate of Sharjah. It consists of two 150 m long, four storey buildings that facing each other on the two banks of the Qasba Canal. They house art galleries, theatres, shops, restaurants and offices.

The Eye of the Emirates Ferris wheel at the end of the Northern building is the landmark of Al Qasba, which is visible from a distance. Magma Architecture redesigned the interior of the Masrah Al Qasba, the venue’s multipurpose auditorium. It is the home of a large number of events, amongst others the annual Sharjah film festival.

The design proposal was to wrap the walls and ceiling of the space in an undulating surface resembling sand dunes. Light spills out of cracks in the surface softly supporting the dune like shapes. It was made out of a stretchable fabric, forming a clean surface which shields all the installations and acoustical insulation, tucked behind the fabric. The seating was retained, but covered in a new textile in the same earthen color as the walls and the ceiling. The result is a calm, yet inspiring continuous space.