la fontaine centre of contemporary art is an historical monument dating back to a hundred and fifty years, located in the heart of Manama close to the old “Suq”.
The centre is the only one of its kind throughout the Middle East, revered by all as a masterpiece of architectural and artistic glory, which makes it a special haven for architectural connoisseurs. The property, belonging to the Alireza family, is very unique as it captures the grand essence of a European chateau, while retaining the charm of the fine, authentic Gulf Islamic architecture. It has been completely restored and renovated by French artist Jean Marc Sinan, who transformed a beautiful residential house into a distinctive, exceptional centre for art and leisure enthusiasts alike.
It features a number of contemporary art galleries, an open-air amphitheatre, an exquisite fine dining restaurant, an exclusive spa, and a state-of-the-art Pilates & Dance Studio, the first of its kind in the Gulf region.
Seven years of architectural refurbishment and innovative design, a "master work in situ", around 5,000 square meters were formed and restored by French artist Jean Marc Sinan.
Today the project is divided into two sections, the restoration of the old historical monument, the principal building, dating back to the 19th century, and the other is the creation of six new buildings within the old edifice, demonstrating a unique fusion between European and Arab cultures within one of Bahrain's oldest private homes. The centre preserves the four main features of fine Gulf Islamic architecture: the wind tower, the double enclosure, the timber louvers at the balconies and the portico. A well balanced architectural design makes the Alireza house known for being the most advanced traditional building in the Gulf.
The masterwork is based on the vision of angles, materiality, textures, proportions of round and geometric volumes. The invisible energy according to the light and the hand made coloration of each square meter of wall space generate a feeling of harmony as the water flows from the twenty six ton, hand-made fountain.
It took 3.6 million hours of labor and over 5.2 million dollars of private investment.