Hayy Jameel

Art Jameel recently announced that construction has begun on a new development, set to open in Saudi Arabia in 2021. This development is named Hayy Jameel – derived from the Arabic word for neighbourhood – referring to the community-oriented nature of the complex, and the ways in which the partner organisations are working together to present the full diversity of the arts. The 17,000-square-metre creative community will be the first bespoke home for the creative industries in Jeddah. It includes spaces for 12 partner organisations (art and design galleries, performance and comedy clubs, cafes, an entrepreneurship incubator and digital studio for filmmakers), plus a theatre, exhibition and events spaces, artists’ studios and an Art Jameel-run arts centre, designed to curate and host local and international art exhibitions. Hayy Jameel reflects Art Jameel’s commitment to supporting artists, creative communities, and entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia and beyond.

Art Jameel commissioned waiwai (formerly ibda design) to design Hayy Jameel as a place that will act as a major new destination for Jeddah, bringing together a range of cultural experiences in one neighbourhood. The three-storey, dynamic, contemporary development features open internal courtyards surrounded by shaded terraces and walkways. Shared events spaces are designed for a range of activities − from performances and exhibitions to conferences and community markets. Hayy Jameel will act as an incubator for creatives and entrepreneurs; it will bring together and nurture Saudi Arabian artists, playwrights, photographers, filmmakers, entrepreneurs and others, along with the enthusiastic audiences that support them.

Art Jameel announced Bricklab, the Jeddah-based design studio, the winner of the international design competition for Hayy:Cinema, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Winning design expanded the role of what a cinema can be: besides a 200-seater main screen, Bricklab’s design incorporates an additional community screening room, audiovisual library, archive viewing rooms and educational space. The expanded picture house was inspired and informed by Bricklab’s extensive research into the history of cinema in the Gulf, and interviews with Saudi and regional actors, directors and producers. Hayy:Cinema is set to be a home for local film community, and a stage for high quality regional and international independent film and due to open its doors as part of Hayy Jameel in 2021. The jury also commended the shortlisted proposals by Kuwait/Bahrain-based Civil Architecture and Lebanon-based Karim Nader Studio. Both studios’ proposals were highlighted for their innovative concepts and technological proficiency.

Art Jameel launched a design competition in February 2019, inviting architects and designers to respond to a brief that foregrounded innovative and creative design; sustainable solutions; and technological excellence. The jury process was completely blind, with each applicant represented only by a number; the esteemed jury included Wael Al Awar, principal and co-founder of waiwai, the architects of Hayy Jameel; Faisal Baltyuor, CEO of the Saudi Film Council (SFC), a government body with a mandate to develop a vibrant film industry in Saudi Arabia; Butheina Kazim, co-founder of Cinema Akil, the first independent picture house in the Gulf, based in Dubai; and Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, partner at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). For more information, visit the Press page to read the press release.


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