Histories of Postwar Architecture 2022-03-21T17:20:37+01:00 HPA Editorial Team Open Journal Systems <p><strong>Histories of Postwar Architecture (HPA) – ISSN 2611-0075</strong> is a biannual open-access peer-reviewed Journal that aims to publish innovative and original papers on postwar architecture, with no geographical, methodological, historiographical or disciplinary restrictions.</p><p>HPA is a<strong> scientific journal</strong> recognized by ANVUR (Italian National Agency for Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes) for disciplinary areas 08 and 10.</p><p> </p> A New Arab Urban: Gulf Cities of Wealth, Ambition, and Distress 2022-02-03T16:23:47+01:00 Erdim Burak <p>In this volume, editors Harvey Molotch and Davide Ponzini take a decidedly different approach to the analysis of Gulf cities to show that what is happening in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar is not so abnormal and is more indicative of emerging trends in urbanization than what first meets the eye. Organized under four thematic sections, the volume brings together a wide-array of essays, generated by a diverse group of scholars from a numerous disciplines including architecture, architectural history, urban planning, area studies, political science, sociology, geography, and art. Taking cues from Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour’s well-known book, Learning from Las Vegas (1972), this volume situates Gulf cities within the transnational contexts of colonialism, globalization, neo-liberalism, and emergent trends of human and capital migration.</p> 2022-03-21T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Erdim Burak Modernity Reloaded. Architectural Practice and the Gulf Cities 2022-02-03T12:47:46+01:00 Roberto Fabbri Iain Jackson 2022-03-21T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Roberto Fabbri, Iain Jackson Genius versus Expertise. Frank Lloyd Wright and The Architects Collaborative at the University of Baghdad 2021-04-21T11:18:23+02:00 Michael Kubo <p>The growing involvement of U.S. architects in the post-oil expansion of Gulf cities after World War II corresponded to an expanding terrain of geopolitical and economic exchanges through which these firms competed for commissions. A revealing comparison of these dynamics of professional and cultural exchange can be found in the conjunction of parallel projects by U.S. architects for an Iraqi national university in Baghdad: the University of Baghdad, designed by The Architects Collaborative (TAC) and associated in particular with Walter Gropius as the firm’s senior partner, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Plan for Greater Baghdad (1957), a larger cultural complex for the city, which included a university on the same peninsula where TAC received its commission in the same year. The presence of two university projects on the same site pitted two paradigmatic examples of U.S. postwar practice against each other: the self-styled genius persona of Wright against the collective body represented by TAC. While Wright’s scheme offered a personal appeal to the Iraqi monarch, Faisal II, and the mythologization of his rule through a symbolic cultural landscape of historical references, TAC’s University project constituted a demonstration of expertise within the developmental framework of foreign technical assistance by U.S. firms. The historiographic emphasis on singular authorship and the interpretation of each project only relative to their respective authors’ creative œuvres has reinforced the lack of a direct comparison of the two schemes. Understood within a framework of competition between two modes of U.S. architectural practice in Iraq, however, a comparison of TAC and Wright’s competing engagements in Baghdad reveals their architects’ differing political and social affiliations, as well as their opposing interpretations of Iraq’s cultural heritage and postwar modernization, and of the concepts of internationalism, technical assistance, and expert practice in relation to national development.</p> 2022-03-21T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Michael Kubo The Emergence of the Arab Engineer: Saba George Shiber, Arab Consulting Engineers (ACE) and Dar al-Handasah 2021-02-17T09:52:06+01:00 Aminah H. Alkanderi <p>The relationship between architects and consumers in the Gulf cities is a commercial and temporal bond rather than a cultural, dynamic, and interactive one. The dearth of historical and premodern architectural monuments and structures in the Arabian desert combined with the rapid oil construction boom of the second half of the 20th century only further challenged the evolution of the socio-cultural association with architecture. With every new ruler, top planning and architecture firms from around the world are commissioned to speculate on the question of the cultural identity of the Arab-Islamic nation and create its image anew through urban renewal and redevelopment schemes. While in constant pursuit of the national image of a modern Arab nation, Gulf cites are invested in master plans, lucrative structures, and monumental buildings that homogenize as abstracted jungles of concrete and glass.<br />The sociocultural structure of Arab Gulf states has indeed fostered rapid urbanization and hindered the evolution of an Arab discourse on architecture. The lack of professional autonomy for architecture as a practice and a discourse promoted a unique interdisciplinary approach to the building industry combining the fields of design, planning, and construction or what I call planning-engineering. Such a design approach blurs the line between the fields of architecture, city planning and engineering into one expert al-Muhandis, a term inclusive of all scientific and technical fields related to the built environment. In this paper, I trace the emergence of Arab engineering consultancies that shaped the urban scene of Gulf cities even today.</p> 2022-03-21T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Aminah H. Alkanderi Architectures of Oil: Earthworks and Petrochemicals in Saudi Arabia c. 1973 2021-02-17T09:44:38+01:00 B. Jack Hanly <p>This paper examines the development of the Saudi cities of Jubail and Yanbu in the aftermath of the 1973 OPEC embargo. Developed as a means of shifting away from pure resource extraction and towards value-added technology sectors, the Saudi government aspired to build up the cities as petrochemical production hubs and investment "growth-poles." It considers the ways in which architecture, landscape, and environment became tools of petro-capital valorization. More specifically, it looks at how the master planning efforts of the construction conglomerate Bechtel and the late modern architectural firm TAC looked towards the quality and composition of the earth as their object of management, study, and design. Such a terrestrial vision of an extractive enterprise would seem to be paradoxical, but the paper ultimately shows how an emergent discourse of ecological systems thinking that legitimated the diffusion of energy and chemicals. This program therefore depended upon a kind of interdisciplinary convergence between architects, engineers, oilmen, scientists, and officials, who collectively manipulated these "natural" resources as the preliminary activity of Jubail and Yanbu's urban administration. These efforts exhibited a scalar flexibility -- from the micrological to the territorial -- that show the labile modalities of extractive activity, as well as a planning regime that adjusted itself to the vagaries of oil's global political economy. The demand to both protect the environment from, and cultivate it with the cities' attendant petrochemical infrastructure demonstrated a melding of technology and nature otherwise overlooked in histories of oil and architecture.</p> 2022-03-21T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 B. Jack Hanly Between tradition and modernity: Max Lock and the Ubullah Neighbourhood Plan 2021-06-08T14:25:00+02:00 Ben Tosland <p>Ubullah is a zoned neighbourhood to the north of Basra, which the British planner and architect Max Lock was commissioned to plan in 1956 by the Basra Port Directorate. This followed a series of separate but relatable plans in southern Iraq completed in plan form during the previous two years. This article critically assesses how the Ubullah Neighbourhood Plan straddles both tradition and modernity within Iraq’s wider developing context, both through its physical architectural and townscape features, as well as its segregated location, away from the city centre. Owing to Basra’s location, within Iraq yet close to the Gulf, it negotiates wider geographies than its national picture; Lock’s plan acknowledged these through the scale to which he planned and the forms and types of building he aimed to procure through the publication of the Ubullah Neighbourhood Plan. This article further places the plan within its architectural and planning context, illustrating similar modern works within the Gulf, Iraq and Europe which forms Lock’s professional context. Ultimately, the plan was doomed to failure; from the outset, it was a plan that made sense for Lock to complete due to his portfolio of work in Basra and southern Iraq, yet difficulties with the location’s proximity to the city and its cut off nature meant Ubullah would be an isolated enclave on the periphery of the city. In addition, national politics and growing disquiet with the influence of the British within Iraq and neighbouring countries in the Gulf ensured the Ubullah plan by Lock was shelved. </p> 2022-03-21T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Ben Tosland The Urban Imaginary in Doha, Qatar 2021-02-17T09:56:21+01:00 Peter Chomowicz <p>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.</p> 2022-07-06T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Peter Chomowicz Aramco and Al-Malaz Housing Schemes: The Origins of Modern Housing in Saudi Arabia 2021-02-17T09:48:08+01:00 Abdulaziz Alshabib Sam Ridgway <p>This paper examines two influential, modern housing schemes outside the oil compounds in Saudi Arabia. The first, Aramco’s Home Ownership Program from the early 1950s, built houses for Saudi oil workers and their families. The second, the Al-Malaz Housing Project, sponsored by the Saudi Government in the late 1950s, produced houses for government employees. These two schemes mark the beginning of the dramatic and widespread overturning of vernacular building traditions in Saudi Arabia. In contrast to the prefabricated lightweight buildings inside the oil compounds these houses were constructed using heavy masonry, mainly locally-made concrete blocks and concrete floor slabs, and they were built in situ. Nevertheless, they are strongly linked to the imported architectural design and construction techniques found inside the compounds.</p> <p>For Aramco, the need to provide better accommodation for Saudi workers was highlighted by the vastly different conditions for expats and local Saudi workers. Inside the camps, expats lived in modern, imported, prefabricated timber buildings laid out in neat suburbs. Local workers lived outside the fence in ramshackle “Coolie Camps” made up of traditional <em>barastis</em>, tents and other structures put together from salvaged materials. While the Aramco program led to the construction of thousands of houses mainly in the eastern oil-rich regions, Al-Malaz, in the capital of Saudi Arabia, signified mainstream acceptance of modern housing design and construction by the Saudi government. Al Malaz was the first of numerous government-sponsored and developer-led housing schemes using modern, non-traditional designs and heavyweight in-situ, and later prefabricated concrete construction.</p> 2022-03-21T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Abdulaziz Alshabib, Sam Ridgway