Investigation of the design procedures for buildings of quality in modern architecture, with notes on the relevant contemporary situation in Syria
The thesis deals with the design process involved in the production of buildings of quality and ends with the note on how an analysis of British conditions might be transposed for use in Syria, the home country of the author. The thesis opens with a brief statement about the present position of modern architecture and its critical reception at varying levels of society. This theme is continued in a brief historical survey of the present position of the aesthetic and philosophical theories current in contemporary architecture. A particular point is made of the position of functionalism, in the widest use of the word, as a major determinant of architectural form since the early days of the Modern Movement. The second area to be covered deals with the concept of quality and is treated fully in both subjective and objective terms. An attempt has been made to define quality and show how the definitions found are related to building design. This section is completed by a survey of the present approach to quality performance and some methods used in Western Europe and the U. S, A. Four systems at present in use in Britain, France, Sweden and America are examined in some detail and the disadvantages and advantages are noted. This naturally leads on to the sociological problems associated with quality in the built environment and the role of the architect in traditional terms as well as the possibilities that may exist for his future role. There is a further survey of systems of evaluation that are already in use for determining the quality of housing developments and finally in this area the appraisal of building systems that are at present used by leading practices. The third part of the thesis consists of an examination of a number of case studies and investigation into a number of practices which have been found to produce buildings of accepted high quality. The methodology involved in selecting the buildings and designer forms part of the work. The case studies are fully illustrated and report is made of the office procedures and structures of those practices involved. The technique developed was to take a building produced by the office and use this as a vehicle upon which to draw out the processes generally in use in the practice. This was extended to cover a range of architectural activities. An analysis of the various design methodologies which determines the final form as a major part of the thesis and the conclusions which are drawn from this analysis lead on to the fourth and final part of the thesis which deals with the Syrian situation. Good thought and data on architectural quality has always been available and comes from many sources; But mostly, work is carried-out under different titles. Facts have been drawn from all fields of architecture and from the knowledge of other fields of Human sciences. It has been found essential to draw short term conclusions where felt appropriate. Footnotes and references are listed at the end of each chapter in which they are discussed, and a general bibliography is at the end of the thesis.