Saleh Makiya (1914-2015) was born in Baghdad and educated in England, receiving his
BArch at Liverpool School of Architecture and a diploma in civic planning from
Liverpool University in 1941 and 1942, respectively. He completed his studies at Kings College,
Cambridge, earning his PhD in 1946. He
returned to Baghdad that same year and established Makiya Associates, an
architectural and planning consultancy practice. During the 1950s he designed houses and
commercial buildings and became increasingly aware of the heritage of Iraqi
architecture. Dr. Makiya was one of the
original founders of the Department of Architecture at the College of
Engineering, Baghdad University, in 1959.
He remained head of the department until 1968. During subsequent years, Makiya Associates
offices were established in Bahrain, Oman, London, Kuwait, Doha, Abu Dhabi, and
The works and ideas of Mohamed Makiya and his firm
have been investigated in numerous books and articles, and examined and explored
in conferences and exhibitions, including an international conference on
Baghdad architectural heritage held in early 2013 at the University of
Baghdad. The conference was part of the
events of “Baghdad, Arab Capital of Culture for the Year 2013”, sponsored
through a partnership between the University of Baghdad, Ifpo (the French
Institute of the Near East), and the UNESCO Office for Iraq.
Makiya’s contributions to the fields of
architecture and urbanism and, in particular, his sophisticated incorporation
of traditional forms into modern architecture, cannot be overstated. His work embodies ideas of urban conservation,
regionalism in form, and continuity of architectural heritage; ideas which continue
to younger generations of architects throughout the Middle East.
The Muscat City Planning, spiral bound report presents the main ideas, theories, issues, and recommendations for the Muscat City Planning project. This bound report includes a selection of the hundreds of photographs, records, drawings, and maps which exist in the Mohamed Makiya Archive at the Aga Khan Documentation Center, MIT Libraries. All of these materials were originally created in conjunction with the city planning study as it developed and as it expanded to other projects for buildings in the region.
This volume includes information concerning aspects of some of the individual building and development projects undertaken by Mohamed Makiya and Makiya Associates in the 1970s, when they were working out of their office in Muscat. The Makiya Associates office was located in Bayt Kharajiyah, which was one of their completed projects. They restored Bayt Kharajiyah, and some photographs of the renovation/restoration project are among those in this city planning document. It is reported that Bayt Kharajiyah is no longer standing, having been a casualty of subsequent urban development in the area.
Mohamed Makiya and Makiya Associates, in addition to the Muscat City Planning study and project, worked on numerous building construction and renovation projects, and/or proposals for them, in the region. Examples include Bayt Greiza (which was ultimately completely reconstructed after it had been determined that it could not be restored as originally planned), and the Ministry of Finance, both still standing. Other Mohamed Makiya and/or Makiya Associates particular projects in and around Muscat include city gates, such as Bab Muthaib, which stands, and proposals developed to varying degrees of completion for the region including a Ministry of National Heritage, a Muscat Museum, a housing project, the Central Bank of Oman, Bayt Falaj Redevelopment, as well as consultancy work on the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.