Arab World Institute
In 1980, 18 Arab countries concluded an agreement with France to establish the AWI to spread knowledge and research the Arab World’s language, and its cultural and spiritual values, reflecting the opinion, that the Arab world - its civilization and values, its past and its future - needs to be better known and understood in the West. It supplies cultural information in a wide range of media: libraries, electronic databanks, a conventional, glass-case museum, audio-visual displays, and an outreach program of touring exhibits and performances as well. This is not an Arab building, but an occidental one, it’s not pastiche, like the Paris Mosque, but modern and from an urban point of view, the Institute is a hinge between 2 cultures and 2 histories. Certain symbolic items like the “moucharabiehs” whose polygons of varying shapes and sizes, create a geometric effect recalling the Alhambra. Jean Nouvel designed the whole of the museum, including the showcases, seating, and display furniture.