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Title: The historical transformation of civic architecture : city council buildings and urban change in Tripoli, Libya
Author: El-Allous, Abdelatif M. O.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 4287
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2016
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Since early urbanisation, governmental public architecture has dominated the urban landscape and shaped the presence and perceptions of those who work, visit and live around it due to the monumental forms, practical bureaucratic functions, embellished and practical spaces, and central urban positions often in proximity to central squares and marketplaces. Public architecture has recently seen dramatic transformations in all these physical aspects, but few studies have explored the changes in powerful invisible values such as the symbolic meanings attached to such buildings, particularly in developing countries. This thesis uses historical, observational, qualitative and quantitative data to conduct an architectural and urban spatial mapping and analysis in the Libyan capital city of Tripoli and its historical municipal buildings (TMBs) to achieve two aims: to understand the historical narrative of the development of the city centre of Tripoli in relation to the city council buildings created by previous rulers; and to trace the history and evaluate the present significance of the currently used central municipal building of Tripoli, built during Italian colonisation. This study describes the architectural, urban and socio-cultural aspects of this historical building in Tripoli city centre and also considers how powerful and actually ‘public’ and ‘civic’ this building was at the time of the research fieldwork under the Gaddafi regime in 2010. The results show that this historical Fascist-style building is still valued by the Libyan government and the public in Tripoli today. Even though the building is a place of power whose spaces do not meet the criteria of publicness identified in the literature of the public realm, it plays a significant civic role allowing citizens to encounter the regime and openly criticise their local government publically in a municipal environment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Libyan Government
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available