A particularly impressive reference project is the historic Fort Al Jahili in the oasis city of Al Ain in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which was officially opened on December 3, 2008. The order for the reconstruction of the fort with local materials and Claytec clay building materials came from the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage(ADACH). This is a newly created authority of the emirate whose task it is to care for the architectural heritage of the country.
Roswag & Jankowski Architekten, Berlin, in cooperation with ZRS Architekten Ingenieure, Berlin, were responsible for the design, planning and construction management. For Claytec it was supervised by Jobst Henze. The mighty building, a kind of national monument, was transformed into a visitor center with cafÃ© and museum. The museum is dedicated to the British explorer, travel writer and photographer Wilfried Thesiger. In the 1940s, he was the first European to cross the deserted quarter of the Arabian Desert together with Bedouins and recorded his impressions with a Leica.
The restoration was carried out entirely in historical clay and palm materials. The clay was recycled and installed by hand in accordance with the historical working methods. For the surface coating, a clay plaster of the color kolumba-gray was chosen, which shows Thesiger's black and white photographs to their best advantage. The lounge in the entrance area is remarkable. The clay construction works were carried out by the Indian clay construction company Hunnarshala Foundation, which was instructed by Claytec partner Wolfgang Scheeres and his employees during the surface coating. The building is cooled by a cold water based surface near component tempering. This and the loam rendering allow to reduce the ventilation parts to the fresh air demand minimized.
The construction project is the prelude to our further commitment in the Emirates. Together with ADACH, we aim to promote the use of earthen building materials in the preservation of historical monuments and in contemporary construction on the Arabian Peninsula.