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Architecture in Context. Designing in the Middle East

  • ID: 3926622
  • Book
  • Region: Middle East
  • 256 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Architects are building in the Gulf and across the Middle East as if there were no context. The iconic abstract architecture that dominates current worldwide architectural discourse and practice is being replicated across the Middle East, even in countries that have rich past and current architectural and urban landscapes. Students of architecture and practising architects in the region are also being taught from solely foreign historicist or modernist surveys that may not be directly relevant to the context in which they are designing.  This book explores the environmental significance, cultural meaning and design vocabularies of architecture across the region.

Architecture in Context: Designing in the Middle East critically provides a foundation for understanding the cultural context of architecture and design in this region. It does this by:

  • presenting a practical overview of architectural know–how in the Middle East, and its potential for cultivating a sense of place
  • introducing local architectural vocabularies and styles, and how they can still be reactivated in contemporary design
  • exploring the cultural and contextual meaning of forms as references that may influence contemporary architecture
  • discussing important discourses and trends in architecture that allow a rethinking of the current global/local dichotomy.

Highly illustrated, the book covers architecture and design in North Africa, the Levant, the Gulf, and Turkey, Iran and Iraq. 

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INTRODUCTION 1

CHAPTER 1: ARCHITECTURE IN THE MIDDLE EAST: A BACKGROUND 9

Geopolitical and Environmental Characteristics 10

Cultural and Religious Influences 17

Architectural and Urban Classical Local Antecedents 31

Colonial Architecture, East–West Encounters 43

Decolonising Architecture: Nation Building 49

Architecture of Development: An Urban and Housing Quest 52

Contemporary Architecture: Faster and Higher 54

Conclusion 56

References 57

CHAPTER 2: ARCHITECTURAL VOCABULARY: ELEMENTS OF LOCAL STYLES 59

Site Typologies 62

Biological Layer 65

Cultural Layer 72

Physical Layer 75

Social and Communal Layer 92

Environmental Layer 94

Massing and Volumetric Composition 97

Compactness 102

Connectedness 104

Transition 104

Fragmentation 106

Skyline 108

Function and Space 110

Space/Function versus Place 110

Space as a Process 112

Space Configurationality 113

Scale and Proportion 115

Human Scale and Proportion 117

Materials and Scale 118

Size and Scale 119

Light and Form 123

Light as Energy 125

Light as Space 127

Light as Form 129

Light as Metaphor 131

Order and Geometry 134

Geometry and Order as Design 135

Geometry and Order as Structure 138

Geometry and Order as Allegory 139

Ornament and Symbolism 142

Ornament as Motif 143

Ornament as Symbolism 146

Building as Digital Ornament 149

Patterns, Textures and Colours 151

Architectural Patterns versus Decorative Patterns 152

Local versus Imported Patterns 156

Composition of Patterns, Textures, and Colours 157

Conclusion 162

References 163

CHAPTER 3: CULTURAL AND CONTEXTUAL MEANING 165

Cultural Value Judgment and Symbolic Codes (Cognitive Schemata, Transmission) 167

Representation and Expression of Cultural Meaning 171

Representation/Expression 171

IDENTIFICATION/COMMUNICATION/TRANSMISSION 174

INTEGRATION/DEVELOPMENT 176

Spatial–Cultural Arrangement (Transformation and Experience) 177

Climate and Environment (Adaptive and Creative Sustainability) 181

Building Know–How and Processes of Production 189

Local/Global Building Know–How 189

Technology–Based Culture 191

Morality, Ethics and Responsibility 193

Conclusion 195

References 196

CHAPTER 4: TRENDS AND DISCOURSES OF CONTEXTUAL ARCHITECTURE 199

Regionalism and Internationalism: A Design Reference 204

A Paradoxical Design: Reactivating or Mimicking Islamic / Arabic Architecture 207

Reinvention of Tradition or Heritage in Design: Continuity or Discontinuity 211

Designing with Nature 215

Nationalist, Post–Orientalist and Fantasist Design 220

Theme Parks and Megaprojects: Designing in the Gulf 225

Sustainability–Based Design 227

Conclusion 230

References 231

APPENDIX: ORIENTATION: TOWARDS A MODEL OF CONTEXTUAL ENQUIRY–BASED DESIGN 233

CONCLUSION 239

ILLUSTRATION CREDITS 241

INDEX 242

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Hassan Radoine
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