Traditionally located at the heart of the building, the collective room—or Majlis—projects its existence on the outer skin of these buildings. The delicate veil retracts and deploys its steel mesh according to the presence of a music performance in the house. Even when the veil is lowered, there is a build-up of expectancy as when one waits for the proscenium curtain to open in a theater. The buildings thus project a latency within the silence of the street. As the French philosopher Didi-Huberman reports on the condition of the image, the fold in the veil already induces the possibility for its unfolding. Its materiality induces the latency of its transformation from being to becoming. This transformative condition is precisely what stands at the core of the Dar Al Jinaa and Dar Al Riffa, their ability to mutate from an opaque to a transparent interior, from a monochrome steel monolith to an intricate volume of colored frames, glass, and concrete, from an almost virtual to a more than physical form.
See Georges Didi-Huberman in conversation with Frédéric Lambert and François Niney, “La condition des images,” MediaMorphose 22 (2008).