The development of contemporary housing in Saudi Arabia (1950-1983) : a study in cross-cultural influence under conditions of rapid change
Author(s)Fadan, Yousef M. (Yousef Mohammed)
Contemporary housing in Saudi Arabia (1950-1983), The development of
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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This study provides a framework for understanding the circumstances associated with the introduction of modern housing concepts and techniques to Saudi Arabia. The analysis and discussion of the relevant cultural influences offers a theoretical framework--historically grounded and critically positioned--for explicating the implications for national development of the country's contemporary housing situation and programs. That Saudi Arabia is one of the most rapidly developing countries in the world today is widely recognized both in Saudi Arabia--and abroad. Saudi Arabia is being transformed into a modernized nation in the space of only about ten years, a process that in most Western nations took many decades. Housing construction is taking place everywhere in the country, and entire new cities are being built overnight. In Saudi Arabia, which occupies about four-fifths of the Arabian peninsula, with relatively sparse population the ambitious development plans are inconsistent with the limited local resources. Hence, in order to achieve the ambitious goals set out in the plan, assistance must be sought from outside. As a result, an influx of experts and workers at all levels (highly skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled) have arrived to avail themselves of the immense job opportunities offered in the country. Firms representing varying professional backgrounds have come from every part of the world. Every system and method as well as every building material known is being applied. In the preoccupation with the management of rapid industrialization on a scale of unprecedented magnitude the socio-cultural values of Saudi Arabia and the traditional urban residential patterns to which they have given rise have been sadly overlooked. The case of the traditional houses of Mecca is adduced to indicate that there exists a precedent showing how new building techniques and materials had been gracefully integrated into local building practice. The local master builders knowledge of their own culture, traditions, and natural and human resources enabled them to modify those new techniques and materials, adapting them to local needs without undermining local socio-cultural values. It is therefore theoretically possible once again to address the challenge of the new -- needs and technology -- while minimizing cultural disintegration and loss.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1983.MICROFICHE COPY AVAILABLE IN ARCHIVES AND ROTCHSupervised by Stanford Anderson.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 380-402).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology