Jameel Arts Centre, the innovative cultural destination developed by Art Jameel

Serie Architects

Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, Courtesy Art Jameel Photography: Mohamed Somji

Jameel Arts Centre, designed by award-winning Serie Architects, opened its doors in Dubai on 11.11.2018.
The much-anticipated Art Centre offers curated exhibitions, installations and commissions and acts as a hub for educational and research initiatives.

Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, Courtesy Art Jameel Photography: Mohamed Somji

Jameel Arts Centre is
set on Jaddaf Waterfront, Dubai, the 10,000-square-metre space designed by Serie Architects responds to the surrounding urban landscape and the Centre’s mission to be open and inclusive.Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, Courtesy Art Jameel Photography: Mohamed Somji

The independent organisation that supports arts, education and heritage in the Middle East, d
esigned as a 10,000-square-metre, three-storey, multi-disciplinary, is the first non-governmental contemporary arts institution of its kind in the Gulf.Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, Courtesy Art Jameel Photography: Mohamed Somji

The contemporary arts institution
features 10 gallery spaces; the UAE’s first open-access arts library and resource centre; 7 desert gardens designed by landscape architect Anouk Vogel; commissions, studio and events spaces; a restaurant and shop.


  • Installation view of Crude, curated by Murtaza Vali, at Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai. Courtesy of Art Jameel Photography: Mohamed Somji


The kunsthalle-inspired complex includes more than 1,000 square metres of dedicated gallery space, plus a 300-square-metre open-access research centre; events and screening spaces; a roof terrace; a restaurant; and a book and design shop.Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, Courtesy Art Jameel Photography: Mohamed Somji

The Centre’s adaptable
spaces reflect Art Jameel’s commitment to diverse programming across mediums and nurturing artist careers, as the galleries are deliberately designed in a variety of sizes and volumetric proportions to allow a flexible range of settings for exhibitions, site-specific installations and new commissions.Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, Courtesy Art Jameel Photography: Mohamed Somji

Inspiration for the building’s massing and spatiality draws from two regional architectural traditions on both intimate- and community-wide scale: the early Emirati
Sha’abi houses that featured a series of rooms circling a courtyard, and the Madinat style of city planning characterized by an accumulation of houses with courtyards. Through a repeated juxtaposition of geometric forms and gardens, the Centre’s design fragments and tessellates the courtyard, continually layering a relationship between inside and outside, art and nature.Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, Courtesy Art Jameel Photography: Mohamed Somji

The series of courtyard desert gardens that punctuate the architecture ensure that alternating encounters of art and landscape remain integral to the experience of the building, encouraging moments of repose.
Designed by renowned landscape architect Anouk Vogel, Jameel Arts Centre’s seven garden installations reflect specific local and global desert biomes, with 33 species represented. The gardens feature a collection of sculptural plants native to the world’s deserts, in addition to several endangered plants facing loss of habitat that have been individually saved from sites marked for destruction.Installation view of Contrary Life: A Botanical Light Garden Devoted to Trees (2018), by Ali Farid and Aseel AlYaqoub Art Jameel Commission for Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, Courtesy Art Jameel Photography: Mohamed Somji

The colonnade is an active social space, framing gardens and enlivening the waterfront promenade.
The combination of garden and art continues outside to Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park, the first open-air art park located in the heart of the city, and a collaboration between Art Jameel and Dubai Holding, the master-developer of the wider Jaddaf Waterfront area. View of the Jameel Library in the Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, Courtesy Art Jameel Photography: Mohamed Somji

Created by the award-winning, UAE based architecture studio 
ibda design, the park serves as a bridge between the public corniche circling Jaddaf Waterfront and Jameel Arts Centre. Its undulating forms curve around large-scale installations, echoing the flow of the waterfront around the building itself. Inaugural sculptures positioned in the Park include works by Helaine Blumenfeld, Talin Hazbar and Latifa Saeed, Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim, David Nash, and Slavs and Tatars.

Read About our Interview with Christopher Lee on The Jameel Arts Centre by Serie-Architects

About Jameel Arts Centre

One of the first contemporary arts institutions in Dubai, Jameel Arts Centre presents curated solo and group exhibitions, drawn both from the Jameel Art Collection and through regional and international collaborations. The Centre is a 10,000-square metre, three-storey, multi-disciplinary space designed by UK-based practice Serie Architects. The building is punctuated by seven gardens, designed by landscape architect Anouk Vogel, which reflect local and global desert biomes.


Located by the creek in Dubai’s Jaddaf Waterfront neighbourhood, the Centre’s galleries are complemented by the Jameel Library, an open-access research centre dedicated to artists and cultural movements in the Gulf states and beyond. The Centre also includes project and commissions spaces, a writer’s studio, a restaurant and shop.
The Centre serves as a hub for educational and research initiatives for diverse audiences. Its wider programming embraces partnerships with local, regional and international artists, curators and organisations

About Serie Architects

United Kingdom-based Serie Architects, led by Christopher Lee, is an international practice specialising in architecture, urban design and research, whose portfolio includes projects in the UK, Singapore, India, China, and the Middle East. Serie has gained a reputation for designing distinctive buildings in the public realm, with a special focus on cultural, civic and educational building. Serie has won a number of high profile design competitions, including the BMW London 2012 Olympic Pavilion, the Singapore State Courts Complex, and the National University of Singapore School of Architecture. In 2010, Serie Architects won the ‘Young Architect of the Year Award’.

Landscape designer: Anouk Vogel

Photography: Mohamed Somji

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