Restauration du Fort d’Al Jahili


Restauration du Fort d’Al Jahili

  • Maîtrise d’ouvrage : Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, précédemment Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH)
  • Architectes : Roswag & Jankowski Architekten
  • Entreprise terre : ADACH, Department of Conservation avec Hunnarshala Foundation (construction works), Clayton/paint company Wolfgang Scheers (instruction)

The design concept aims to respect the existing building structure and strengthen the qualities of the architecture. The existing buildings in the north wing were restored to their original condition removing the separating walls added in the 1980s and reopening the door openings that had been closed off. The original structure consisting of two rooms at right angles to one another and a cluster of rooms including the rooms facing the outside wall and an arcade in front has been resurrected. The entrance to the exhibition is via an opening into the courtyard in the transverse wing which is also connected to the north wing via a second opening. The exhibition is housed in the rooms in the historic building; the arcade from the 80s serves primarily as circulation.The south wing, built in the 1980s, consists of two axes of rooms. The rooms next to the external wall house the visitor information centre, the bookshop and caf. and are reached form the arcade via large openings in the central wall. The kitchen and toilets are located in existing rooms. The west wing consists of a single-axis arcade and retains its existing structure. It is reached via the visitor centre. All door openings and the few new wall openings were heightened to a height of 2.70 m, The polygonal openings in the arcade are sealed with rectangular windows which pick up the 2.70 m datum line.

The planning and execution used primarily existing historical materials such as earth and materials from the palm tree and their respective construction methods. New predominantly natural building materials have been used only where necessary to accommodate the planned functions. All existing timber and palm-tree elements were heavily termite-infested and had to be removed. 50% of the palm trunks and palm leaves were treated with preservatives and re-installed in the building. The changes to the wall structures were made entirely of historical earth bricks and mortar which were soaked in water, reformed and re-used. Openings in the masonry brickwork are supported by Kerto-laminated timber lintels and enclosed in a wood-based panel material. Individual bearings and structural elements were made of concrete. The roof is externally insulated and sealed with a bituminous gravel-coated sheeting to protect against rain. The sealing layer was then clad in earth mortar to maintain its historical appearance. The openings in the arcades received large thermally-insulated timber windows to form an enclosed area that can be air-conditioned.