Shine on you crumbling diamond


There were once more than a dozen of this type of mixed-use building in Abu Dhabi. This example, on Airport Road, now scheduled for demolition, is one of the last.
There were once more than a dozen of this type of mixed-use building in Abu Dhabi. This example, now scheduled for demolition, is one of the last. (Nick Leech | Writing to Inform)

If deterioration and decay were reliable guides to a building’s age, the part-ruin, part-relic that stands crumbling near the junction of Al Saada Street and Airport Road would undoubtedly qualify as an ancient monument.

At first sight it appears to have suffered from some kind of bombardment. Many of its windows are boarded up, rusting steel reinforcement bars emerge from its pockmarked concrete and bands of burgundy paint peel from its facade.

Like a rotten tooth, the two-storey structure is dwarfed by its taller, shinier neighbours yet despite its dereliction the building still functions, just, as a residence and a place of work.

Up on the first floor, hidden from view, piles of shoes, pushchairs and cricket bats testify to the presence of the families who still call this building home while outside a small garden nestles on the shaded, cooler side of the building, a small oasis of tenderness on a plot that is otherwise devoid of tender loving care.

The rest of this story can be read in The National

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One thought on “Shine on you crumbling diamond”

  1. These increasingly scarce examples of the crumbling diamond add an unexpected flavour which makes this place what it is. Shine on!

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