Polemics in Arab Architecture: Theory Versus Practice
journal article
There is a great divide between academic field and professional practice. In many Arab countries academics are advocating traditional architecture in a “traditional” way. They believe in image cloning and visual abstraction from history. However, because of rising competition, architects in the market are giving what the society aspires for: modern architecture. This polemical practice has not yet penetrated the thick skin of academics. Yet, new identity is in the making contrary to what intellectuals and officials
would like to see. No more direct cut and paste from history. Common practice that strives for Identity today is more or less tall buildings with curvilinear glittering planes. Less common, is the one that is slowly germinating from environmental awareness which in turn touches upon traditional values in a subtle way. More interestingly, the less frequently practiced type of identity is proving profitable ventures for their clients. Investors are gradually accepting the new language for it brings them prestige. In this research, two villas, one apartment building and a university campus introduce traditional values in a disguised way showing innovative solutions that will slowly turn the current practice into a better future for Arab cultures.
Asfour, Khaled. "Polemics in Arab Architecture: Theory Versus Practice," in ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 1 (2007).
Parent Publications
Khaled Asfour
contemporary architecture
architectural criticism