The Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa (BMBK) cultural project aims to preserve and rehabilitate a major landmark in the history of the UAE.
Located in Al Ain, a Unesco World Heritage Site, the 2,840 m² exhibition space links the nation’s pre-oil history and heritage with the present day.
ACCIONA Cultural Engineering has completed the exhibition implementation of Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa, a historic house located in the Unesco World Heritage site of Al Ain, in the United Arab Emirates.
The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi selected ACCIONA to carry out the technical development and museographic implementation of the 2,840m² exhibition space.
Bait Mohamed bin Khalifa (BMBK) is a cultural restoration project that aims to preserve and rehabilitate this historic home into a vibrant community center. BMBK is one of few remaining examples of the architecture of the ‘Transition Period’, between 1960 and 1970, the crucial period between the nation’s pre and post-oil eras. Although the home has a traditional layout, it was built using concrete, an innovative material at that time. As a result, the house provides valuable insights into the changing building techniques and the urban development of Al Ain during the transition to modernity.
The house was built in 1958, near the Al Ain oasis, for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan (1909-1979) and his fourth wife, their daughters and sons. The layout and functions of the house reflect the traditional family structure and social rules of the time, with the strict separation of public and private life.
An extensive conservation program carried out by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi has seen the historic home repaired, restored and rehabilitated into a vibrant community center, which is set to resume its function as a gathering place for the Al Ain community.
ACCIONA Cultural Engineering, which specializes in the design and implementation of projects for museums, expo pavilions, exhibitions, events and interiors, carried out the technical development and museographic implementation of seven exhibitions rooms: Discovery room, Period room, Building 1, Building 2, Conserving room, Honoring and Living rooms, in addition to exhibition displays in the courtyard. These include glazing walls with archival images, artefacts, and showcases, models of the original house and subsequent modifications, set designs and ten audio-visual and multimedia productions. Optical theaters with puppet ghost effects reproduce home life during Sheik Mohammed bin Khalifa’s time.
The complex will house temporary exhibitions in addition to the permanent display. It will also make spaces available for hire by the public, creative and educational programs, family activities in the RFLCT Arts Center and an onsite branch of Notes café.