As part of my graduation project , I've started to study the Cultural aspects & it's rule of the defining & the formation of the architecture in a specified community , & as far as i understood that both architecture & culture effect each other almost equally , even though it appears that the culture has the dominant role here .
am focusing my work on a new rise city ( Aqaba , Jordan ) that almost has no physical remaining of Architectural building , though the area has an extensive historical past over times .
the problem that am facing here is that the identity is foggy & uncertain , & also the cultural identity of the majority of people who lives there now is much different from the basic form of the culture that been rose there which is Bedouin .
how can i balance this issue & find a cultural identity between the people & the place ? , should i turn people to adapt them selves with the genuine region culture ? or neglect the site aspects & establish a new one accommodating people needs within there new city ?
the Authority is now trying to unify the city theme by bringing architectural styles such as Fatimid style to make a sort of Arabic Mediterranean identity .
The Question that lays here is how i can find the culture ?
* note , aqaba has an extraordinary natural heritage lays in the desert along side to the gulf near by Wadi Rum .
Dear Shadi, Why not consider and compare with the orgins of Tashkent?
The word Tashkent comes from Turkish and literally means "Stone City" which is appropriate because this was a city built by and for the Mongols (Turkish nomads from Central Asia). So there is a direct parallel with Aqaba, given that other than stone monuments there was no solid Mongol architecture, so I assume the city was built by slave artisans with building skills and of course what they built would resemble buildings from their own cultures.
On a geographical note, given that Aqaba is located at the upper end of the right fork at the top of the Red Sea, I would imagine that there should be archeological evidence of Aqaba being used as a sea-trade port for many thousands of years and so duplication of ancient architecture styles would be appropriate.
Frank John Snelling
If the Fatimids wanted to leave their cultural mark in the area, they would have done so a long time ago, and perhaps there wouldn't be the problem of finding evidence of it. Is there any particular reason this style is now being considered by the authorities? You mentioned they wanted to unify the city theme. It seems that finding the culture (or cultures) is not the problem, but about bringing them together.