Paper Example on Theory of Architecture

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Sewanee University of the South
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Research paper
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Saudi Arabia integrates different types of architectural styles more than any other nation within the Arabian Peninsula (Ham, Brekhus, Madden, 2004). Fundamentally, the buildings found in the coastal, plains and the mountain regions demonstrate a distinctive and local in their characters. While this is so, the different and modern architectural styles have been directed and channelled to some famous towns such as Mecca, Jeddah, and Medina among others (Ham, Brekhus, Madden, 2004). In this sense, therefore, it is undeniable to mention that the buildings in various Saudi cities were built through the use of the architectural styles that could either be classified as late-modern, postmodern, and deconstructivism. This essay will, therefore, identify three buildings in Saudi Arabia, analyze the components of each building and try to define the relationship between their elements and masses. Nonetheless, this analysis and criticism will be based on the different principles of design.

Burj Khalifa in Dubai

Burj Khalifa is the worlds tallest building and structure. Notably, the building stands at a total height of 829.8 meters. The construction of the Burj Khalifa official began in 2004 and was completed in the year 2009. Fundamentally, the architectural design demonstrated in the building is deconstructionist architecture (CTL Group, 2011). Deconstructionism in architecture emerged in the 1980s and therefore appears as a continuation of the earlier design, the post-modernism. On a wider note, this style stood to limit the rules of modernism that included the materials fidelity, functioning of forms. In its greater part, this architectural style drew its inspiration from the Russian constructivism, and the architects were interested in the experimental form, geometric structures destabilization. Today, they have employed the use of computers to facilitate the design and constructions. Burj Khalifa tower was designed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM), who were also involved in the design of the Will Tower and the World Trade Centre in Chicago and New York respectively. Proportionally, the design of the tower used nearly half amount of steel used in the construction of the Empire State Building.

Elements of Design

The diversity of expression often defines the core philosophy of the post-modern ideals. Burj Khalifa was designed not to offer its standard function but also provide a combination of various meanings such as the paradox, contextualism, and irony. In the construction of massive buildings such as Burj Khalifa, the concrete used had a high capacity to resist the thousands of tons bearing lying down on it (Dubai Architecture, 2011). On a wider note, a unique mix of supported concrete with the ability to compress itself was utilized for Burj Khalifa. Based on the tremendously great Dubais temperature during the day (48 degrees Celsius), the constructors poured the concrete only during the night when the weather was cool and humid. This procedure was based on the fact that the concrete dried and uniformly when the weather is cool and therefore encountered minimal cracking. Critically,

Principle of design

The tower design was derived from the Islamic architecture. As it goes up from its bases, twenty-seven setbacks are developed at the base in a spiralling arrangement. These are meant to reduce the cross section of the tower as it approaches the sky. This design also establishes the convenient external terraces. At the top of the tower, the core at the centre appears and consequently sculpted to create an ending spire. The vanity space included at the head of the tower has been reported to be unnecessary, and without the spire, the tower could be drastically reduced to around 525 meters without any reduction of the spaced that can be usable. Critically, I think Burj Khalifa and the architectural design employed offers a great reflection of deconstructivism in the post-modern era of the world.

Abraj Al Bait in Mecca

The Abraj Al Bait is a state-owned mega tall skyscraper hotel situated in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Fundamentally, the Abraj Al Bait demonstrates post-modernism. The post-modernism architecture refers to an architectural style whereby buildings are designed not only to deliver their intended functions but also bring together the characteristics of various meanings such as the paradox, pluralism, contextualism, and Irony. In the post-modernism architecture, the architects are often free to use any architectural style and elements in their designs (Ham, Brekhus, & Madden, 2004).

Elements of Design

The construction of this building highly integrated various elements of design about the post-modernism. Notably, the main building is topped by a 93 m spire and consists of a golden crescent at the top. As observed in the building, the architecture tended to decorate it highly and somewhat whimsical through focusing on the design more than general functions. Various elements have been incorporated from several architectural designs to form one style. In this way, the architects became able to break down the boundaries between the styles.

Principle of Design

Various principles of design that integrates various components such as the Pattern and Rhythm, balance, contrast, scale, theme and variation have all been considered in the design and construction of this building. The building is topped by a four-faced clock which is visible 100 kilometres away. It is the biggest in the world and stands at 400 meters above the ground. The 2 million LED lights illuminate the faces of the four of the clock. Based on the decorative function, the building has a spire with a black observation pod at the base and consists of a lunar gallery, a control tower, and the first watching. The primary structural systems included a reinforced concrete at the lower part, steel/concrete composite, steel construction (upper part), cladding, natural stone, and the carbon glass fiber.

From the critical perspective, it is therefore undeniable to mention that Abraj Al Bait reflects the current aspects of postmodernism whereby most buildings have been designed not only to provide conservative role but also bring together the characteristics of different meanings such as as the paradox, pluralism, contextualism, and Irony.

King Road Tower in Jeddah

King Road Tower is among the Saudi Arabian buildings known for its portrayal of the Late-modernist architectural style. It is an architectural style that originated from the United States. From the beginning of the 1970s, the American architects had started putting forward a new architecture that mainly consisted of the advancement of the earlier modern styles. Just like the earlier modern buildings, this kind of design was reductive and functionalist.

Elements of Design

King Road Tower is in the form of a high rising building that integrated various elements of models based on the principles and the characteristics of late modernism. As observed, the windows are horizontally oriented, and this mainly consists of the ribbon windows and belt courses. In most cases, the building has vast areas without the windows as the large part consists of the industrial materials such as the concrete. Finally, King Road Tower portrayed a dramatic sculptural conception of its volumes.

Principle of Design

The primary structural systems included a reinforced concrete at the lower part, steel/concrete composite, steel construction (upper part), cladding, natural stone, and the carbon glass fiber. King Road Tower is built by the American architecture that entails the use of prominent details display of the buildings technical and functional supports. From the critically perspective, King Road Tower builders highly embraced the elements and principles of design in relation to late-modernism theory. The use of an orderly arrangement and pre-fabricated elements greatly constituted to this theory. References

CTL Group (2011). Burj Khalifa, the Tallest Building in the World. Last modified 2011. Accessed Nov. 15, 2011. http://www.ctlgroup.com/ClientsAndProjects/Project/Detail/220.

Ham, A., Brekhus, M., & Madden, A. (2004). Saudi Arabia. Footscray, Vic: Lonely Planet.

Dubai Architecture (2011). Burj Dubai. Accessed Nov. 16, 2011. http://dubai-architecture.info/DUB-004.htm.

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