samedi 12 janvier 2013

Vernacular and contemporary buildings in Qatar

The strength of vernacular architecture is that it blends 
buildings into various settings so that there is a natural harmony 
between climate, architecture and people.

In countries such as Iran, Iraq and Egypt there have evolved 
buildings which not only demonstrate this harmony and unity 
between people and their environment but also offer a 
combination of engineering and architecture which has an 
aesthetic quality"

In the past, people in Qatar built their houses according 
to their real needs and in harmony with the environment 
as well as with optimal utiHzation of the available local 
building materials. In spite of the hot long summer with 
the dry bulb temperature of up to 45°C, human comfort 
was achieved in those traditional buildings by the utilization 
of natural energies. 
This was the result of repeated cycles of trial and error 
and the experience of generations of builders. It is worth
 mentioning that builders had to rely mostly on the locally 
available material to construct the buildings with the exception 
of timber which was imported from India.
In the 1940s the country's economy flourished as a result 
of oil discovery, and electricity was introduced. Modern 
technologies were adopted without studying their suitability 
with regard to culture and climate. 
An architectural heritage that survived for centuries because 
of geometric, technical and constructive principles that work
for the society, is being sadly destroyed under the guise 
of modernization.
 Traditional buildings are being abandoned as it is perceived 
that they reflect underdevelopment and poverty.
This chapter is devoted to discussing various passive 
techniques that has been employed in the traditional buildings 
and their role in providing comfort especially during the hottest 
hours of the day.

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