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European architects at the confluence of tradition and modernity in the Persian Gulf, 1954-1982

Tosland, Ben (2020) European architects at the confluence of tradition and modernity in the Persian Gulf, 1954-1982. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent, University of Kent. (KAR id:80594)

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Abstract

The driving force behind variations in the architecture of the Gulf between 1954 and 1982 was a complex assemblage of geopolitics, changing cultures and advancements in architectural discourse. The timeframe selected for this thesis spans part of the post-Second World War period and is intended as an illustration of change in architectural style in the West in the context of the rapidly changing political and economic scene of the Gulf. The historiography of the architecture in the Gulf during this period has been notoriously Eurocentric, focusing both on the architects from the West and the Gulf's geographic area. This thesis by contrast promotes an

understanding of Western architecture in the Gulf through an assessment of patterns in geographical and global architectural contexts. In doing so, it advances an understanding of global movements of architecture, raising questions about architects from the Gulf whose work is misunderstood. Where possible, this thesis has used work from architects such as Mohamed Makiya, Kamran Diba, Rifat Chadirji and others to contextualise regional architectural development against the backdrop of the five Western-led case studies which are the focus of this thesis. Case studies are structured in chronological order and include: Max Lock's Ubullah housing scheme (1956); Candilis-Josic-Woods' housing for the National Iranian Oil Company in Abadan (1956); Alfred Roth's work in Kuwait from 1964-1974; Doxiadis Associates' Riyadh Plan (1968-1972); and Jørn Utzon's Kuwait National Assembly (1972-1982). Overall, the case studies illustrate a conflict between the traditional forms and spatial syntaxes of Arab architecture and the contradictory theories and forms of Western-induced modernism. Furthermore, these case studies show how local, regional and global examples of architecture intertwine with the selected projects; the thesis assesses the complex assemblage of physical and political conditions Western architects faced when designing in the region during this period. By using original archival material, this thesis gives a fuller picture of the global architectural scene and deepens the understanding of architectural development within the Gulf during this period.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Brittain-Catlin, Timothy
Uncontrolled keywords: architecture, modernity, modernism, tradition, twentieth century, Persian Gulf, Arabian Gulf, geography, politics, design
Subjects: N Visual Arts > NA Architecture
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > Kent School of Architecture and Planning
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2020 13:10 UTC
Last Modified: 13 May 2022 14:50 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/80594 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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