identity Design Awards 2020 shortlist: Architecture – Cultural building

This award recognises any building dedicated to culture or cultural activities

identity is pleased to announce the shortlist for the sixth annual identity Design Awards 2020, which is set to take place on 4 November in Dubai, UAE.

Over the coming weeks, we will be releasing this year’s shortlisted projects.

The Architecture – Cultural building  category recognises any building dedicated to culture or cultural activities including cultural centres, museums, art galleries, religious spaces, theatres, opera houses, concert halls and stadiums as well as entertainment venues 

Here is the full shortlist for Architecture – Cultural building: 


Al Musallah by CEBRA Architecture – Abu Dhabi, UAE 

The Qasr Al Hosn Fort in central Abu Dhabi is the city’s oldest and most important building. Originally built in 1760 as a watchtower to protect only freshwater well on Abu Dhabi island and later extended into a palace, it literally constitutes the birthplace of the modern metropolis Abu Dhabi. The aim of the transformation masterplan is to reinstate the Fort as the cultural heart of the city with a new 140.000 m2 cultural park-scape and the conservation of the site surrounding the historical building and the Cultural Foundation, a 1980’s Grade ‘A’ listed cultural centre of Bauhaus origins. Introducing a new type of locally rooted urban landscape, the project combines modernity alongside the Emirate’s maritime and desert heritage in a coherent narrative that communicates between the site’s two contrasting buildings. The project emphasizes this duality by dividing the site diagonally into two contrasting landscapes. A plain, soft and open desert landscape around the Fort reinstates the building as a free-standing landmark on sand like it was before the modern city rapidly sprung up.

Bluewaters Mosque by 10 Design – Dubai, UAE 

Photo: Rafael Vargas

10 Design was commissioned to create a place of worship in harmony with the contemporary architectural language of Bluewaters island. A place of worship within such a high profile tourist destination had to be conceived to compliment the surrounding architecture but also bring a sense of calm and order to the act of worship within a vibrant tourist destination. The building defines a clear threshold between public / semi-public and private – through the use of the colonnade and shading structure which wraps around the main space of worship. The elegant colonnade protects the pedestrian and worshipper from the intense Dubai sunlight – functioning at an urban level when defining the street edge – a more intimate space is created below for meeting and socializing.

Buhais Geology Park Interpretive Centre by Hopkins – Sharjah, UAE 

Photo: Felix von Schwanewede

The Buhais Geology Park lies south-east of the city of Sharjah in a region of exceptional prehistoric and geological significance. The project was designed to accommodate a series of exhibition spaces to present the region’s significant geological phenomena with educational spaces provided for the interaction with local guides and researchers.The building consists of five interconnected pods with their geometry inspired by fossilised urchins found on site. Each pod houses a different function and an outdoor trail links them with the natural rock formations and ancient burial tombs present.

The Dunes Platform – Al Marmoom by AE7 and Dubai Municipality – Dubai, UAE 

Set deep within the desert sands, The Dunes Platform is located in the Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve. The Dunes Platform’s setting deep inside Dubai’s desert landscape offers a space for meditation, yoga, and nature viewing. Blending into its desert environment, the structure is inspired by the surrounding sand dunes and the shrub formations that form over the sand. A glass partition that opens to the shaded outdoor platform, allows visitors to exercise and meditate out in the openness. The outdoor platform also acts as a viewing deck, offering visitors a chance to take in the vastness of the desert landscape, while enjoying the sunrise or sunset over the dunes.