The Urban Imaginary in Doha, Qatar
Keywords:Architecture, urbanism, middle east, Qatar, hermeneutics, philosophy, modernity, phenomenology, ontology
This article examines the urban and architectural development of Doha, Qatar since 1950 with a focus on the last few decades and the construction of a modernist skyscraper skyline. It views the city stereoscopically, as both fact and symbol. From one perspective the city is a basic architectonic and morphologic fact; from another view it is a powerful ontological and epistemological symbol. My main contention is that both aspects are needed to understand how the rapid urbanization of the Arabian Gulf city uses the built environment to find an orientation in history, particularly when ‘history’ in this context seems in its own right a tool fraught with contradictions.
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