The 2021 publication of Building Sharjah marks the completion of an intensive five-year research project to collect and reconstruct Sharjah’s modern landscape, including the parts once imagined and those no longer to be found. Co-edited by Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi and Todd Reisz and published by Birkhäuser, Building Sharjah is one of the most engaging and thorough examinations of the history of modernization in the United Arab Emirates. Nearly 600 images from dozens of sources, mostly unpublished until now, in addition to more than 60 featured projects and newly commissioned contributions from 17 writers chart how modernist ambitions came together to engineer a global city.
Building Sharjah tells the tale of how modern architecture unfurled across the United Arab Emirates’ third-largest city. An offshore discovery in 1972 positioned Sharjah to be one of the world’s last cities shaped by oil’s transformative fortune. Following in the footsteps of Kuwait, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai, Sharjah faced a metamorphosis and a choice: repeat the mistakes of the past or reimagine the ways that wealth can build a city. ↗