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Koolhaas launches Al Manakh in Dubai

Live from Dubai: Rem Koolhaas has launched Al Manakh, a book described as the first comprehensive guide to architecture and urban design in the The Gulf.

The book was unveiled today at the International Design Forum in Dubai, where Koolhaas spoke this morning (Sunday).

The book is jointly published by AMO - the consultancy arm of Koolhaas' Office for Metropolitan Architecture - with Dutch magazine Archis and IDF organiser Moutamarat.

For more updates from the forum, visit our IDF blog.

UPDATE: buy this book on the Dezeenbooks store

Full details follow:



Release of “AL MANAKH", analysis of developments along the Gulf: “A Guide, a Survey, an Agenda"

“The world is running out of places where it can start over." Rem Koolhaas

Al Manakh offers a detailed analysis of the history, culture and architecture of The Gulf region including Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah and discusses the implications of the rapid development of these territories for the rest of the world.

This is the first time that the unprecedented urban condition of this region has been comprehensively documented from diverse viewpoints and communicated to outside the region. Voices of architects, intellectuals and developers making The Gulf happen are represented in the numerous essays and interviews that accompany this richly illustrated study. Key figures such as, Rem Koolhaas, Ole Bouman, and Thomas Krens give their take on the current situation in The Gulf, along with their predictions for the future of this ‘ultimate tabula rasa’.

AMO / Archis / Moutamarat releases the book ‘Al Manakh’, the first ever comprehensive analysis of the development of The Gulf, to be launched on the occasion of the International Design Forum in Dubai (27-29 May 2007).

Al Manakh is divided into three sections:

I.The Dubai Guide: This opening chapter edited by MOUTAMARAT considers current projects, productions, plans and ideas happening specifically in Dubai. Highlights include essays by George Katodrytis, Elie Domit and Nadim Karam.

II. Gulf Survey: This sizable section presents the in-depth research on The Gulf region carried out by AMO, the creative think tank of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). In this survey individual social, cultural and urban histories are presented for seven territories along The Gulf coast. Detailed statistics offer new insight into the architecture and urban ambitions of the Gulf and the social, economic and cultural consequences that the new urban condition can have on a society.

A collection of essays reveals some of the most cogent aspects of The Gulf now, such as The World man-made islands off the coast of Dubai or the construction workers’ cities. Writings by Rem Koolhaas, Reinier de Graaf and Todd Reisz offer vital insight into the significance of the phenomena of The Gulf in the contemporary global context.

At the end of this section a comprehensive overview of all the current urban and resort developments in The Gulf is offered. This is the first list of its kind that acts as an invaluable resource providing detailed information on projects taking shape today.

III. The Global Agenda: The last section edited by ARCHIS reflects concepts and strategies for design to provide shelter, security, sustainability, fairness and dialogue. Authors and artists like Nader Ardalan, Stefano Boeri, CRIT, Ricardo Devesa, Emiliano Gandolfi, Jiang Jun, Jeroen Mensink, Bas Princen, Ilka & Andreas Ruby, Urban Think Tank and others reflect on ‘what can be the mission for design today’. Thirteen ‘Creative Design Agendas’ are compiled as a design manual for the greater good.

With impressive graphics, a mirage of images and ground breaking new discoveries Al Manakh will be the most instrumental and immediately useful tool on The Gulf for architects, planners, designers, developers, decision makers and academics alike. Al Manakh will be launched as a special issue of Volume Magazine (#12) at the first International Design Forum organized in Dubai by Moutamarat from May 27-29. After this date, the publication will be made available in North America, Europe and the rest of the Middle East and Asia.

Al Manakh Facts:
Editors: Rem Koolhaas, Mitra Khoubrou, Ole Bouman
Managing editor: Arjen Oosterman
Design: Irma Boom, Natasha Chandani, Sonja Haller
Format: 24x17, 500 pages
Publisher: Archis Foundation
Distribution: Europe, Asia and USA by Idea Books, IPS Pressevertrieb, Jashanmal
Price: €29.90 ISBN: 978-90-77966-12-9


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