Emphasized as a space for communing, reflection and knowledge, the Sharbatly Annex has been repurposed by Studio Bound to offer a space that brings together different dwellers and passersby through Al-Balad. Presenting a design bookshop, reading space and lush gathering spot of respite, COSPACE is a quiet and modest space which serves as a canvas for communal engagement and debate.

The format of COSPACE is a retrospective template that allows visi- tors to witness the abandoned nature of buildings of Al-Balad, whose fragility ache for redevelopment as the insidious and inevitable assault brought on by time intensifies. As such, the space Studio Bound pres- ents aims not to reconstruct, but rather to resuscitate the Annex from being merely a backdrop to becoming an active node within the exhi- bition grounds.

A glass interior façade encases the books that line and frame the pre- served stone walls. The walls are married to align with precise incisions on the site to render a spectacle upon itself that pays homage to the past, and speculates upon its useful future. The arrangement shapes the subject, namely the books, through simple forms and scenes that echo the concept of knowledge, bringing people to congregate and exchange ideas and stories through the shared language of reading.

The building is bound to its origin, but through Studio Bound’s design, it is appropriated and charged with new meaning, reviving a collective communal space.

Curated by: Studio Bound

Participating Publications:

WTD, Cereal, Offscreen, Musotrees, Works that Work, Disegno, The Carton, Journal Safar, OpenHouse, Tribe, Khaleejesque, Canvas, Kin- folk, Wallpaper, Mousse, Design Anthology, Lars Muller, Taschen

Workshop Space:

Art Jameel, Basmah Felemban


During the rapid growth of the city of Riyadh in recent decades, con- ventional planning methods developed in the 1950s were overtaken by large-scale real estate developments that shaped the city independently with unique characteristics. As a result of this mega expansion, many districts in Riyadh can be defined by micro-localized attributes.

Alaa Tarabzouni’s installation Al-Som (2019) examines the notion of boundaries in the city and the physical manifestations of how these boundaries are represented, which the artist demonstrates by compiling different methods of boundary demarcation objects. The piece consists of a rolled-up chain link fence, a spool of a wire, spray painted cairns and a concrete block. Tarabzouni has supplemented the installation with a series of photographs of borders as a typology, ranging from the most permeable to the least, which are displayed at the Book Fair.