Institut du Monde Arabe

The Arab World Institute (AWI) was established during 1980 in Paris, the building purpose is to detail research to cover Arabic and the Arab World’s cultural and spiritual values.

The building not only dominates among the surrounding building because of its glazed and metallic materials, this building also acts as a buffer zone between the Jussieu Campus, in large rationalist blocks, and the River Seine.

The other entrance is unwelcoming and is used by only official peoples. The entrance is made by the gap of structures. This entrance leads directly into the core of the building
The south entrance of the building leads to the square open space that stands right in front of the metallic screen unfolds with moving geometric motifs. This intricate structure holds several motor-controlled apertures that act as a “Brise­Soleil” to control the light entering the building according to the weather conditions and the season of the year

The huge south-facing garden courtyard wall has been described as a 60m ‘Venetian Blind’, although its appearance is more patently Islamic in decorative terms. It is made up of numerous and variously dimensioned metallic diaphragms set in pierced metal borders. These diaphragms operate like a camera lens to control the sun’s penetration into the interior of the building. The changes to the irises are dramatically revealed internally while externally a subtle density pattern can be observed. Thus the whole effect is like a giant Islamic pierced screen.

The interior receives filtered light also making interior spaces interesting by the playful nature of light coming in.

The architect’s vision was to create a relationship with the sky and he achieved it by  using the screen which takes the color of the sky and gives the sharp edge at the top.

This metallic screen radiates the solar rays and makes the open space in front of it well light. The floor color of this area makes the space more warm and highlighted.

The building stands as a symbol of Arab culture because of its dominating south façade as an expression.

The building is divided in two parts  and merges into one in lower floors. This is done to achieve maximum ventilation and light inside building. These two half are created by the entrance of the building to its inner core and a square courtyard.

Courtyard helps in the circulation of the air through small openings.

The curve is designed in order to have proper views of river seine and the Notre Dame. The curve is along the road side.



Because of its exterior metallic and glazed look, internally a superb feature is the glass and steel stairs and lift enclosure, which can be seen from most parts of the building.

Also the some structural materials used are of steel.

The restaurant of the building which is situated on terrace gives the view of whole city as well as the note dame.

The location of the restaurant makes the building more exploring and involving.

The different facades of the building creates different emotions as well. The south façade is sun screen works only as filtering light and maintains privacy to the outside world. Therefore these areas are kept for libraries. Whereas the opposite façade is completely exposed to the exterior views and on this façade all the prominent sites can be seen.

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply