Interview with Antonia Carver on Hayy: Creative Hub and Art Jameel vision for Jeddah

Art Jameel announced in 2018 that construction has begun on a new development, set to open in Saudi Arabia in the winter of 2019-2020. This development is named Hayy: Creative Hub – derived from the Arabic word for neighborhood – referring to the community-oriented nature of the complex, and the ways in which the partner organizations are working together to present the full diversity of the arts.

Hay: Creative Hub. Courtesy of Art Jameel

Herskhazeen interviewed Antonia Carver, the Director of the Jameel Arts Centre Dubai, about the first of its kind bespoke cultural complex in Saudi and the purpose of its establishment.

Antonia CARVER, Director of Art Jameel. Courtesy of Art Jameel

Anotnia stated that Hayy will feature an arts centre, independent cinema, performance and events spaces and artists’ studios, all run by Art Jameel, including a range of like-minded partners such as galleries and design studios, a comedy club, co-working space, café, restaurant and more. 

“Jeddah is such a creative, entrepreneurial city; now for the first time, there will be a ‘home from home’ for this community and a place where their talent can be nurtured and showcased to Saudi and the world.”

Hay: Creative Hub. Courtesy of Art Jameel

Jameel Arts also launched a completion to design Hayy: Cinema earlier this year, Antonia said that “Hayy: Cinema is right at the heart of the community: a picture-house screening Saudi, Arab and international independent films, plus a place that hosts master classes, discussions and more, all aimed at celebrating creative filmmaking and providing an environment where Saudi filmmakers and enthusiasts can come together and develop skills, know-how and critical appreciation.”

The addition of Cinema to the Jameel Arts development in Jeddah will be an essential part of the progress of the Saudi film industry and community, and the hallmark of a cosmopolitan creative destination. 

“We’re looking now for innovative design solutions for the cinema interior, and decided to open up the process via an Open Call, to attract submissions from upcoming practitioners as well as established architects and designers.” 

Hay: Creative Hub. Courtesy of Art Jameel

We asked Antonia what type of entries she is you expecting/hoping to receive from designers and her answer was: “We’re hoping that they reinvent the cinema experience! Of course, there’s a practical element needed: everyone needs to be able to see and hear the screen, and we’re aiming for top-notch quality – but other than that, we’re totally open to all ideas and design solutions. Hay: Cinema might be in the tradition of some of the most loved independent cinemas around the world, but there’s no reason why in Jeddah, we can’t re-invent the genre for the 21stcentury.”

Antonia also advises designers to think big! “Think Jeddah and its young, creative, savvy demographic. Think global. Think about the cinematic experience, from A to Z…”

More on Hayy: Cinema design competition.

More on Jameel Arts Centre.

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