Sample Research Paper On “Art & Architecture”
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The rapid change of the world in terms of technology in the architectural field has come with it various designs and models of designs attributed to particular architects. This trend has resulted to movement of Egypt from its traditional forms of architecture to the contemporary western designs, which are complex in nature. It is imperative to note that, most of the present architectural designs do not have the Egyptian attributes of identity and origin. This essay seeks to examine the philosophical inclination of three architects in initializing and completing their architectural designs and plans. The architects include Hassan Fathy, Abdelhalim Ibrahim and Remi el Dedan and Soheir Farid.
Fathy was born in 1900 in Alexandria and lived for 89 years of which he designed over 160 projects for both public and community use. Of immense importance is his architectural design, which characterized the ancient techniques integrated with his understanding of the rural Egyptian economic situation. Fathy’s strength inclined to his passion to train the locals on how to make their own materials and use them in the construction process. Hassan designed and built the first mud brick in 1930 and then followed the construction of the New Gourna in West Bank, which settled the tomb robbers (Otto, 158). This design earned him international accolade for creativity and architectural integration of various attributes. Consider the following illustration of the design of the New Gourna mosque.
The New Gourna
Courtesy of Riewoldt, Otto. New Hotel Design. London: Laurence King, 2006. Print.
The New Gourna represents one of the spectacular forms of design that brought Fathy to the limelight of the international platform. This design is later used to design the Gourna village, which was for relocation purposes. It is imperative to note that, unlike other architects, Fathy is talented in reinterpretation of the vernacular urban architectural design of Cairo. Fathy incorporated various attributes such as the malqaf (a wind catcher) among others to create the sense of the surrounding milieu. It is notable that, the Fathy focuses well in ensuring that, his designs had the cultural and social backgrounds of the dwellers. He asserts that, his incorporation of the Nubia mud designs was to ensure that the ancient design does not get lost. For instance, most of the Egyptian land, particularly to the North and the West Bank is desert like in most of the season of the year (Otto, 158). Fathy created a sense of a humid area by attributing a basin of water for purposes of increasing the humidity of the desert air. This increased coldness and facilitates a serene milieu for dwelling. It is notable that, Fathy was calculative, creative and had a sense of belonging in his designs, and this made him superior among his contemporary architects. With the integration of this skills, environmental attributes, cultural and social background of the dwellers, traditional materials, Fathy embraced an appropriate architecture, which offered a thriftily and socially feasible dwelling place.
The work in the New Gourna raises critical queries for architecture, expressly requiring the architects to focus closely on the social, cultural and economic values and backgrounds of the intended dwellers. This is aimed at increasing the sense of belonging of the dwellers. In addition, Fathy’s appropriate architecture indicates how best these architectural designs can constructed in an appropriate manner without the involvement of the real estate agents and firms. It is imperative to note that, Fathy’s architectural designs were superior in term of context, language, materials which locally made, the construction process and the his philosophy. Fathy’s process of construction could only begin after he has acquired the necessary contextual ideas relative to the intended dwellers and the immediate milieu. This was a unique approach, which was not practiced most of the architects of his time, and that is why very few buildings Egypt have ancient roots (Otto, 159). This type of philosophy and process of initializing architectural designs of this nature is unique, original and real to the both the architect and the subjects. This is because both the desires of the architect and those of the dwellers are well integrated to accommodate a wide range of attributes. This made Hassan Fathy a unique architect who received accolades from across the globe.
Abdel Halim Ibrahim
Abdel Halim is one the few architectural designers of Egypt who adopted a clear-cut architectural process in his work of designing architectural buildings. Abdel is a philosopher who earned both local and international reputation in his participation in the designing and construction of the final cultural Park for children. Abdel Halim used a unique approach, which focused on the process design rather than the final products. Abdel Halim used four stages, which included the attribution of the symbolic gamut, which offers the project in-depth conceptualization, use of geometry, attribution of geometry with actual coordinates and symbolic content of the project. It is imperative to note that, the essence of geometry is to lay a foundation of the project by acting as the organizing principle (Peter, and Schmitz, 169). This makes the architect to easily find the required measurements and final appearance of the project at the initial stage. The use of attributing the geometry to the actual coordinates is to ensure that harmony is created between the philosophical ideas and the physical content of the work. In addition, marking of the presence of the project with the figurative content, enables the public’s participation and consequent incorporation of their aspirations. Abdel Halim represents the modern architect of Egypt who not only integrates some facets attributed to the social and cultural background of the dwellers and the surrounding, but also sustains the modern approach of architectural designs, particularly the western style.
Abdel Halim endeavors to achieve harmony by integrating the design process with the tenets of public architecture and the immediate milieu. Abdel Halim does not have clear and inspiring architectural history, however his fame and outstanding performance in this area is immensely attributed to the existence of a process (Peter, and Schmitz, 169). His process of architectural design begins with the birth of the initialization of the idea to the completion stage. It is imperative that numerous architects were differently distinguished from others through a series of divergent perspectives. For the case of Abdel Halim, the aspect of embracing a clear cut process in his architectural work distinguished him and it earned him a reputation through the 1992 Aga Khan Award in Architecture. Abdel Halim’s strength inclined to his ability to adopt modern approach to design, and invent the procedures of construction. In addition, he used his tactical approaches to create awareness of the historical and cultural settings of each project. The reason as to why Abdel Halim chose to integrate the feelings of the immediate milieu is to ensure that the project had a familiar appearance to the dwellers. In addition, his work was primarily inclined to understanding the building’s functionality and then filling the requisite materials. Overall, the essence of understanding the immediate societal context was critical to ensuring a sense of belonging is sustained. One of the outstanding architectural designs that gave Abdel Halim both local and international reputation was the Cultural Park for Children. Consider the following illustration of the park, which indicates a well-integrated pattern of both the Egyptian traditional elements and the modern architectural facets.
Herrle, Peter, and Stephanus Schmitz. Constructed Identities: Contemporary Architecture in the South. Berlin: Lit, 2009. Print.
In essence, the difference between Hassan Fathy and Abdel Halim is the apporach to the actual architectural design. Wheareas, Fathy deos not follow a structured procedure, Abdel Halim follows a clear cut process, which is his strenght. In terms of the relating the architectural works with the immediate miliue, both artist ensure the elemenst of the society are well incoporated with the modernism.
Remi el Dedan and Soheir Farid
The two architects worked together in numerous occasions and this resulted to attributing of their designs and perspectives towards architecture to a similar approach. This implies that both Dedan and Farid shared a commonality in the manner in which they approached various designs in the architectural field. The two architects are closely linked to the resort and hotel architectural designs. One of the most reputable architectural projects that put these architects into the limelight is The Sheraton Miramar Resort, which is constructed on a jewel like bunch of nine islands (Wa Reviews Som London's, et al, 18). The resort is surrounded by structures that resemble lagoons. The resort is a five –star and it contains 400 rooms. The resort rests on a 150,000 m2 space. Consider the following illustration indicating the well-structured pattern of both the Egyptian elements of culture and the modern facets.
Courtesy of World Architecture London Grosvenor Press International Limited. (1999): 58-63. Print.
The resort is indicative of the traditional Egyptians’ way of life that is well patterned with the modern facts such as language, global trends such as technology and presentation among others. It is imperative to note that, Dedan and Farid figuratively chose to rest the resort on the jewel, which was a medium of exchange in the traditional trade. In addition, the architects have accommodated the aspect of the immediate environment such as features of a desert. These aspects are intended to sustain the sense of belonging for the local tourists or visitors. The architects have used the local methods and construction materials to give the resort an appearance that the locals know (Wa Reviews Som London's, et al, 17). This makes the local feel accommodated in the design and the architectural process. The general impression created by this design is that the architects never wanted to completely go out their traditional customs and beliefs. The physical appearance of the resort is indicative of the religious background inclined to the people of Egypt-Islam.
On a similar note, the architects like their mentor Hassan Fathy they reciprocated the aspect of the history of tolerance and openness in their designs. They used inspiration and decorative facets to reveal their tolerance and humility. These aspects encompassed in the general societal beliefs and foundational virtues. It is imperative to note that, Dedan and Farid embraced the kind of design that gave everything to the people. It was referred to as architecture for the people. Moreover, the architects embraced the spirit of contemporaneous, where they incorporated the spatial concepts in the designs. For instance, the physical appearance of the spaces in The Sheraton Miramar Resort correlates with the mood and function. In addition, the architects embraced the art of locating divergent lights inside and outside the resort, which brings the natural phenomena, particularly by the nature and extent of contrast (Wa Reviews Som London's, et al, 19).
This communicates the essence to appreciate nature and its attributes. This cannot be attributed to the western culture. This helps the audience to understand that the duo were a talented team which embraced both the traditional and western facets, which they intertwined with the natural phenomenon to have a descent and desirable product. The work of the duo is attributed immensely to the architecture of the Ismaili Center in Dubai (Wa Reviews Som London's, et al, 18). The other prominent feature that is immensely attributed to the architectural works by the duo is the element of taking advantage of the natural features to correlate with the physical one to have a perfect blend of the overall landscaping. For instance, the Miramar Resort has taken advantage of resting above the sea and the architects have taken the blue waters as their guiding principle in designing the final
Landscape design for the resort. This kind of integration forms the distinctive feature of the duo in all their architectural projects. Despite using modern features in their projects, the duo has not alienated themselves from the social and cultural attachment of the locals. This tells us of the strong will of maintaining traditions, while at the same time embracing modernism. It is not easy to have the three sections of design incorporated to have a well-blended final product. It is imperative to note that, Dedan and Farid thrived well in both the local and international arena due to their integrated architectural designs (Wa Reviews Som London's, et al, 18).
The difference between the duo and the Hassan Fathy is that, he embraced appropriate technology, which was independent of the western interference. He used local mud bricks whereas the duo used modern materials such as marble. However, on the aspects of keeping the originality and sense of belonging, they shared the same ideology. Similarly, they embraced the virtues of tolerance and openness.
On the other hand, the creative approach of intertwining the natural attributes such as landscape with both the western and traditional elements to have a final well-blended product in terms of the overall landscape is the distinctive feature between the duo and the projects designed by Abdel Halim.
Herrle, Peter, and Stephanus Schmitz. Constructed Identities: Contemporary Architecture in the South. Berlin: Lit, 2009. Print.
Riewoldt, Otto. New Hotel Design. London: Laurence King, 2006. Print.
"Wa Reviews Som London's Just-Completed Conrad Hotel in Cairo. Also Profiled: Snoehetta's Alexandria Library, Rami El Dahan, Soheir Farid and Ahmed Hamdi's Kafr El Gouna Resort Village, Ahmed Reda Abdin's M.u.s.t. Campus Buildings, Dr Mohamed El Adly's Katameya Heights Golf Resort and Abdelhalim Ibrahim's Qasr El Funoun Art Gallery Redesign." World Architecture London Grosvenor Press International Limited. (1999): 58-63. Print.
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