The restoration of the 21 Customs House in Manama, Bahrain, by STUDIO ANNE HOLTROP architecture firm brings back the building’s historic fabric and cultural significance. The completed structure now stands as a testament to Bahrain’s rich heritage and serves as a bridge between the past and the future.
21 Customs House Technical Information
- Architects1-3: Studio Anne Holtrop
- Location: Manama, Bahrain
- Client: Bahrain Authorities
- Topics: Renovation, Concrete in Architecture
- Area: 1.500 m2
- Project Year: 2016 – 2019
- Photographs: © Anne Holtrop, © Maxime Delvaux
In its incompleteness the volume fits mostly and leaves gaps at corners and connections that highlight its history of continuous alterations and building upon.– Studio Anne Holtrop
21 Customs House Photographs
Text by the Architects
The 21 Customs House, located in Manama, Bahrain, has a rich history dating back to 1937, when it served as the Customs House for the port of Manama. Since then, the building has undergone many changes, including being converted into the central post office and receiving a concrete and steel facade.
However, in 2014, the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities initiated a restoration project with the STUDIO ANNE HOLTROP architecture firm to undo the many alterations and additions made to the building and bring back its original historic fabric.
The restoration project involved completing the two historical volumes, one being the primary volume and the other a valuable side addition, with a third new volume. The new volume was designed to complement the existing historic structure while also showcasing its history of continuous alterations and building upon.
To achieve this effect, the new addition was built with the same solid thickness as the historic walls, using white hand-hammered concrete. The new volume also features several “cuts,” leaving gaps at corners and connections to highlight the building’s history.
The restoration of the 21 Customs House not only brings back the building’s original historic fabric but also serves as an important reminder of Bahrain’s rich cultural heritage. The completed building now stands as a testament to the country’s past while also embracing its future.
21 Customs House Plans
21 Customs House Image Gallery
About Studio Anne Holtrop
Studio Anne Holtrop is a design and architecture firm founded by Dutch architect Anne Holtrop. The studio is based in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and focuses on creating innovative and functional designs deeply rooted in their surroundings. Studio Anne Holtrop’s work includes architecture, interior design, furniture design, and installations, and they have completed projects in various countries worldwide. Their approach to design often involves using natural materials and simple forms to create functional and visually stunning spaces.
Works from Studio Anne Holtrop
- Collaborators: Maitham Almubarak, Alessandro Ianello, Leonardo Manti, Alexander Poulikakos, Mohammad Salim, Christian Vennerstrøm
- Structural Engineer: Mario Monotti
- Local Engineer: Emaar