The systematic and gradually more complex combination of basic elements constitutes
the golden rule of composition of the Islamic city: from its urban structure to
the basic residential component and its technological components.
The project aims to derive a methodology of working from ornament to organization,
starting with Riegl's notion of ornament as the decorative and non-narrative
motifs and forms historically deployed across a flat plane, curved surface, or in
low-relief. Ornament occupies the zone between the purely decorative and the
Ornament is composed basically of decorative patterns.
Patterning can be described as the proliferation of a set of motifs by a series of
localized symmetrical relationships.
The operativity of this propose consist of two parts: the first is an analysis of the
operations of particular pattern samples and the development of a catalogue of
possible geometrical control that makes those relations apparent. The second part
consists in the implementation of this catalogue as a system of organization /
catalogue of operations that can be instrumentalized in three-dimensions and be
indexed by the programm required for the building.
Courtyard Strategy / Middle East city > Context of the Building
The image of the Middle East city, a world of usages and customs still perhaps a
long way from ours, remains that of an intricate web of roads, narrow white streets
in which shade reigns supreme, and where the dense, hidden building fabric
seems only to be touched upon. Yet this apparently impenetrable organism is
disciplined by a precise analogy between physical structure and social model:
religious orders and systematic laws form an intrinsic part of the conception of
urban space and of its use.
Almost all the traditional buildings, from houses to mosques and commercial
spaces are, in fact, organized as an aggregation of cells around the courtyard, the
pivot of all the active spaces.
The project set a courtyard space for the unfolding of the total square meters that
are not going to be used in each floor.
Since thousands of years ago in the Middle East, the courtyard had playd a central
role in daily life, not only in the home but also in public or comercial buildings.
The courtyard lies in the center, where the people do all activities.
The courtyard is a place of gathering and interrelation for the community.
(con Magdalena Ostornol y Giusy Ottonelli)