This is the first book ever to examine the architecture and urbanism of the Persian Gulf as a complete entity, dealing equally with conditions on the eastern Iranian shoreline as in Arabic countries on the western side. By inviting a range of architects and scholars to write about historical and contemporary influences on 14 cities along both Gulf coastlines, the book traces the changes in architecture and human settlement in relation to environmental factors and particularity of place. It provides an innovative contribution to the study of architecture and globalisation through a detailed investigation of this particular region, investigating how buildings and cities are being shaped as a result. A set of thematic essays at the end offer important insights into issues of globalisation, urbanism and environmental design, drawing from the experience of the Persian Gulf. The outcome is a unique record of the Gulf in the early-21st century at a point when global capitalism is making major inroads and yet questions of architectural design, climate change, ecological sustainability, cultural identity and so-called 'Facebook Democracy' are likewise shaking up the Middle Eastern region. The book thus offers a fresh reading of the architecture and urbanism of a fascinating and often contradictory region, while also showing how globalisation can be analysed in a more engaged and integrated manner.
Murray Fraser is Professor of Architecture and Global Culture at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, UK and Nasser Golzari is a Researcher at the School of Architecture, University of Westminster, UK.