Architecture Leaders in Palestine "West Bank" Between (1959-1995)

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Iman Amad/supervisor
Dr. Haitham Ratrut/co-supervisor
Dr. Jamal Amer/external examiner
Dr. Khaled Qamheiyah/internal examienr
Dr. Iman Amad/supervisor
Dr. Haitham Ratrut/co-supervisor
Mahmoud Jalal Abdul Qader Alawneh
This thesis discusses architecture in Palestine focusing on the period between 1959 and 1995. This period witnessed significant Palestinian architectural changes due to political, sociological, and intellectual challenges when the Israelis occupied large parts of Palestine. Further, this period lacks documentation and there is not any records or studies that address Palestinian architectural works during the aforementioned period. The few existing literature focus on traditional architecture that leaves the transition from traditional architecture to today’s architecture, unfortunately, undocumented. This paper sheds light on leading Palestinian architects who have contributed to Palestinian architecture in the period between 1959 and 1955, focusing on the West Bank and the works that have shaped the features of Palestinian architecture during this period. Moreover, the study reflects the analysis of a group of pioneer architects who led the architectural movement during that period. It is worth noting that the researcher has depended on field research as well as collecting data from the actually standing buildings that reflect the widespread style of architecture at that time. Not only that; but the researcher has also depended on collecting the related photos besides searching on municipalities’ archives. These plans will demonstrate the architect’s name and other works conducted by him/her. After that, the works are analyzed and studied carefully to an attempt to recognize the reasoning behind establishing such buildings. The analysis is focused on the plans, the interfaces, the internal and external spaces that are linked to the three-dimensional perspectives and its impact on the surrounding. The researcher has also worked on analyzing the building onto its elementary items. Then, the general features of the building are inferred and the advantages are clarified. The main obstacle for this thesis was the lack and weakness of sources, as well as the difficulty to obtain information with the existing archiving system in municipalities. In fact, getting the information is complicated because there is not an electronic archiving system. In addition, no studies related to this period were found in those archives. The paper also addresses the international tendencies of architecture in that period in order to establish a relation between these universal features and the local Palestinian ones. This has resulted in a conclusion that Palestinian architecture in that period has indeed been affected by international architectural design principles, standards, and key elements. This resulted from the impact of the places where the architects have studied (Europe or America) or being affected by the international architectural magazines that meets the curiosity of the architect. Through studying the works of the leading Palestinian architects, the most evident conclusion was that two architecture movements have emerged during this period; the first movement adopted complex forms whereas the other went for simplicity. Nevertheless, both movements met the ancient fundamental principles of architecture set by Architect Vitruvius, which meet the needs for commodity, firmness, and delight. Finally, this thesis concludes with recommendations that aim at developing the study of Palestinian architecture through the activation of a scientific data collection methodology to document Palestinian architectural history. Furthermore, this study can be considered a start point or an attempt to recognize the identity of Palestinian Architecture and its features during that period.
Pages Count: