C3 no.402_19 #4/6
Arab Architecture in front
Evolution on the City: Arab Architecture in front of the World _ Diego Terna
The metropolises of the countries facing the Persian Gulf have undergone a thirty-year development which has, so far, decreed their success in terms of global visibility, but which has not yet succeeded in defining or strongly influencing the world path of architecture or of urban planning, as has been the case in several cities of other countries.
The projects presented below follow this path: in large part they seek to bring an Arab culture into dialogue with a Western one, retracing, above all, characteristics of the architecture of European cities. Perhaps a new type of architecture can arise from this return to the past, capable of influencing the evolution of other world metropolises.
Houses, the Art of Landing
Houses, the Art of Landing _ Nelson Mota
The characteristics of a site are arguably some of the major factors behind any architectural project. Tangible aspects such as geology and topography are key to defining the structural system, for example. Intangible aspects such as atmosphere and identity, to name but a few, influence the project’s architectural composition and materialization. There is one key feature, however, when these tangible and intangible aspects come together: the building’s connection to the ground.
Historically, private houses have been a type of building particularly for use as a locus of experimentation for architects trying to tackle this challenge. This architectural tradition can still be seen in many contemporary projects. The four houses published in this section, testify to it, showing how architects use compositional, material and technological innovations to perfect the art of landing.
(Un)familiar Places – Finding Meaning in Non-Routine Experiences _ Angelos Psilopulous
The four projects we examine may arguably stand as oddities. What they offer, on first impression, is the promise of unique experiences; they hold this promise one time as an interpretive exploration of the place and the context they build upon, and another as a feat of technical prowess, intellectual ability, or ecological sensibility.
For all we argue, these buildings carry not a proposition but a promise; to throw us off our preconceptions, to have us rediscovering our bodies, our minds, our nature within their architecture. Oddly, they succeed in their challenge not by delivering on this promise but by keeping us suspended, until we find that we’ve merely been oscillating between states and situations, between intentions and affects, between narratives and experiences. It is this sense of being almost there, of hoping to reach a conclusion, that teases us to discover more.