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A Study of the Architecture of Nader Ardalan in Terms of Tradition and Modernity in the Islamic Context

Aghaei Rad, Hamid, Built Environment, Faculty of Built Environment, UNSW

2016

  • Title:
    A Study of the Architecture of Nader Ardalan in Terms of Tradition and Modernity in the Islamic Context
  • Author/Creator/Curator: Aghaei Rad, Hamid, Built Environment, Faculty of Built Environment, UNSW
  • Subjects: Nader Ardalan; Traditional Islamic Architecture; Tradition and Modernity; Contemporary idea; Gnostic approach to architecture
  • Resource type: Thesis
  • Type of thesis: Ph.D.
  • Date: 2016
  • Supervisor: Fung, Stanislaus, Faculty of Built Environment, UNSW; Gusheh, Maryam, Faculty of Built Environment, UNSW; Akkach, Samer, Adelaide University
  • Language: English
  • Additional Information: Thesis restricted until April 2018
  • Description: This study is focussed on Nader Ardalan’s scholarly and design work in the light of discussions on tradition and modernity in Iranian architecture. It undertakes an analysis of Ardalan’s approach to the debates on tradition and modernity in architecture and examines the relationship between Ardalan’s understanding of traditional Iranian Islamic architecture and his contemporary projects.In Chapter 1 this study explains Ardalan’s understanding of traditional Iranian Islamic architecture through an analysis of Ardalan and Bakhtiar’s The Sense of Unity (1973). This book is well known among Islamic architectural researchers because it presents a rare insight into traditional Islamic architecture in comparison with conventional historical studies. In Chapter 2, this study analyses the relationship between The Sense of Unity and Ardalan’s projects. For this purpose, specific projects from different periods of Ardalan’s professional career are examined individually and in relationship with each other. In Chapter 4, from a broader perspective, this study analyses Ardalan’s approach to the debates on tradition and modernity by exploring the differences between Ardalan’s understanding of traditional Iranian Islamic architecture and the conventional understanding of significant Iranian scholars. Then, from an external perspective, this study examines the alignment between Ardalan’s architectural attitude and the concept of the contemporary redefined by Giorgio Agamben, by exploring the differences between the design principles in Ardalan’s projects and a few outstanding projects of his time in relation to the debates on tradition and modernity in architecture.This thesis demonstrates (1) Ardalan’s projects after the publication of The Sense of Unity are inspired by his understanding of traditional Iranian Islamic architecture, which is based on Gnosticism. In fact, from the perspective of the debates on tradition and modernity, The Sense of Unity provided a theoretical foundation for Ardalan’s architecture. (2) This thesis highlights that the understanding of Ardalan by Iranian architectural historians is irrelevant, since it assesses Ardalan’s projects without considering The Sense of Unity. (3) This study shows that Ardalan’s projects can be nominated as contemporary Islamic architecture based on Agamben’s concept of the contemporary.

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