Wahat Al Karama is a permanent tribute to UAE’s brave soldiers and other Emiratis who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving the Nation. Wahat Al Karama is a place where citizens, residents and visitors to the UAE can pay homage to those who selflessly gave their life to a cause greater than themselves. They will continue to inspire us, and we will keep their memories alive through this memorial.
This work exemplifies the power of fusion between art and architecture in a project that conveys purpose and emotion and creates a place of reflection, serenity and significance for its nation.
The conceptual direction of the project was conceived by a world renowned interdisciplinary artist to “create a park for reflection on both loss and remembrance, a spiritual place that conveyed unity and support - a monument that has positive and hopeful resonance while inspiring curiosity in sculpture and how contemporary art can influence emotions”.
The centrepiece of ‘Wahat Al Karama’, meaning “the oasis of dignity”, is a 90-metre long monument comprised of 31 leaning tablets which symbolise the support between soldiers, families and citizens in the face of adversity. Clad with over 850 cast aluminium panels, sections of the tablets are sandblasted and stamped with poems by emirs of the UAE. The ‘Pavilion of Honour’ positioned at the end of the memorial journey was designed by Khan in collaboration with bureau^proberts. The internal walls of the pavilion are clad with over 2,700 plates cast from 11 tons of recycled aluminium sourced from decommissioned armoured vehicles. The plates are embedded with names of UAE heroes whose lives have been lost in service.
Idris Khan was selected for the project from a curation of international artists, where a strong cultural connection and understanding made his memorial the winning concept. UAP worked closely with Khan, from concept design to fabrication and installation, to translate his vision into this monumental work.
ProjectWahat Al Karama
Memorial Park Lead Consultant: AECOM
Monument Lead Consultant: UAP
Consultant Architect: bureau^proberts
Consultant Engineers: Robert Bird Group
Design / Build: UAP
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
[ manifesto ]
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.