The courtyard house is one of the most enduring architectural forms, transcending regional, historical and cultural boundaries. Its balance of simple appropriate construction, environmental control and social and familial structures continues to engage architects and architectural historians. That the courtyard house is still relevant today is indicated through its ability to accommodate continual transformation without losing any of its formal integrity and cultural roots.
This book presents a series of viewpoints on courtyard houses from different periods and in different regions around the world; from the Harem courtyards of the Topkapi Palace and the low-cost housing settlements of Protectorate Casablanca, to contemporary design strategies for courtyard houses in the arid Gulf region. Together, the essays illuminate issues of particular relevance in architectural, art historical, and conservation discourses today.
Contents: Preface; Part I Historical and Sociological Paradigms: A house divided: the harem courtyards of the Topkapi palace, Jateen Lad; Edward W. Lane's representation of the Cairene courtyard house, Asiya Chowdhury; Tradition and transformation of the Kabuli courtyard house, Marcus Schadl; Migration, urban form, and the courtyard house: socio-cultural reflections on the Pathan Mohallas in Bhopal, India, Manu P. Sobti. Part II Cultural Variations and Contemporary Adaptations: Beyond the nostalgic conservation of the past: the urban courtyard house in Korea (1920–70), Alfred B. Hwangbo; Interiorized exterior: the courtyard in Casablanca's public and company housing (1910–60), Monique Eleb; Talking about the courtyard: some post-colonial observations on the courtyard in Sri Lanka, Anoma Pieris; Adaptation strategies for Hispanic courtyard buildings, John S. Reynolds; The Central Asian courtyard house and its contemporary applications, Rafi Samizay; More than a pattern: the contributions of the courtyard house in the developing world, Reinhard Goethert. Part III Architects and their Courtyard Projects: 1,000 courtyards: observations on the courtyard as a recurring design element, Hashim Sarkis; The courtyard house in Kuwait today: design approaches and case studies, Waed Al-Masri; Learning from traces of past living: courtyard housing as precedent and project, Kevin Mitchell; Bibliography; Index.
About the Editor: Nasser O. Rabbat, Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Architecture, Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Reviews: 'This volume, edited by Nassar Rabat, is the most ambitious book on the subject of the courtyard to date… By extending the range of discourse and deepening the methodological frame, the essays in The Courtyard House move its subject squarely into the global arena.' Traditional Dwellings & Settlements Review'… students of vernacular architecture will find the earlier essays especially valuable [and] the book will also appeal to those with interests in the particular regions and cities discussed.' International Journal of Islamic Architecture
Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT.
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