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Green Corner Building in Muharraq, Bahrain by Studio Anne Holtrop

Cs02 anne holtrop green square market architectural review

Sand is poured into the edges of these cast-concrete wall slabs, giving every wall element a unique imprint

This case study is part of a longer essay on soil as shuttering – click here to read more 

Currently on site just behind Valerio Olgiati’s recently completed visitor centre for the Pearling Path, the Green Corner Building is an art collection and storage archive in Muharraq, Bahrain. The elongated plan, two long rooms with a core in between, makes a stretched facade which is itself the main spatial element. Ideas from the Qaisariah Souq are taken a step further in this project, and Holtrop introduces cast elements in the building’s interior. Lunar aluminium landscapes on the shutters and door, as well as sand-casted floor elements which provide a relief to the ceilings, can be glimpsed from outside through the windows. The edge of these precast elements is visible as a ‘geological cut in the ground’.

Each element has an imprint which is unqiue; the casts were made on the ground next to the building, but are assembled as a well-orchestrated whole. Casting is about the positive as much as it is about the negative – by nature, it is a process of recording, an endless back-and-forth between negatives and positives that carry the memory of each other. As material flows and forms into the mould, there is an inevitable loss of control: the way gypsum flows is different to that of concrete, the way aluminium bubbles, shrinks and sets is dependent on temperature. 

Cs02 anne holtrop green square market architectural review 2

Cs02 anne holtrop green square market architectural review 2

Source: Studio Anne Holtrop

Cs02 anne holtrop green corner building drawings architectural review

Cs02 anne holtrop green corner building drawings architectural review

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Lead image: courtesy of Studio Anne Holtrop

This case study is part of a longer essay on soil as shuttering – click here to read more