Reviews - What do customers think about Traditional Domestic Architecture of the Arab Region?
Well chosen title. Mar 16, 2008
I like the book very much because it is filled with many line-drawings indicating different aspects of domestic architecture in the region. However the title is well chosen, the book has a broader significance because of the wide spectrum of subjects involved. After a short introduction dealing with some general terms the book continues with a chapter about The Arab Region. Here it describes shortly geography, climate and used building materials but also cultural determinants of the region like history and tradition, socio-economics, the nomadic input, values, ideology and the role of Islam. The Origins of Architecture delves into human needs and comfort conditions and describes climate and microclimates. Traditional Materials treats organic and inorganic materials and binding agents. Traditional Structures mainly is about covering structures, floor slabs, post and beams, corbelling, arches and vaulting in it's many varieties. Types of settlements and towns is the subject of Shelter. The Planning Elements treats the cell, transverse space, colonnade and arcade, the porch, veranda and loggia, gallery, peristyle, Iwan, courtyards and so on. A special chapter is Water and Waste Management which goes beyond the narrow definition of domestic architecture. Privacy is examined in Traditional Design Strategies together with designing for variable space needs, expansion and severe climate. There is also a chapter about Exceptions to the Rule, the special types of housing in the area. A large part of the book is then devoted to Case Studies classified according to country. Some very varied topics are dicussed in Western vs Eastern Ways. Then at the end of the book the Appendix is filled with a colourful collection of material documenting contemporary efforts for a synthesis of modern living requirements with environmental and traditional factors of the Arab Region. The last part can be read as general recommendations for the planning of housing in a arid region. In short the book does justice to the title and leaves, though in black and white, a colourful impression of domestic architecture in the region.