The concept of architectural identity in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The concept of architectural identity in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – identity as a concept that has a social and material nature and connotations, and it constitutes a set of signs recognized by a group of people, it is defined by people, time and place, however we are subject to change over time, in this sense the identity may change and may People resist that change because they want to feel that they maintain a certain level of continuity in maintaining identity.
Early conflicts and the search for architectural identity
After the discovery of oil in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we see a fundamental change in the form of architecture and planning, as the desire to establish a modern country in a short time led to this total material change in most Saudi cities.
We see that during this period the house was transformed into a so-called villa or palace, and this new type of house was imported from European homes in the thirties of the century, but it was
It developed in the 1950s, when Aramco Home forced the property program to provide people with their home designs on this heritage in order to qualify for a loan.
People relied on Aramco engineers to design their new homes, because there were few architects in Saudi Arabia at the time.
To speed up the process, Aramco engineers have developed many designs alternatives where the customer chooses the design that suits his taste, however, all of these designs adopted one style known as “International Mediterranean” Detached House.
Social change can be found in those suburbs that were built at that time, for example for the first time in the city New neighborhoods are classified according to the economic situation and social situation, where the Saudi family expressed their wealth and modernity through ownership and living in a villa.
Identity of new homes and architecture in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
When looking for a new home identity, we see that there are many problems, as there has been despair in the desire of some families to own a new villa, along with government interference through building codes, creating an unstable situation in the home environment.
This is evident in the determination of people to communicate with the cultural core with the things surrounding them, especially in their homes, so the internal and external changes that people made in the villas created these contradictions in the image of the contemporary Saudi house.
We see that the current prevailing trend in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which relies on traditional external images in contemporary homes, by using traditional forms that have proven to be appropriate for many over many years, as people express a desire to eliminate inconsistencies in the external appearance of their homes Contemporary.
Unconventional Saudi architecture
In some regions of Saudi Arabia, architectural styles and strange patterns appear on Saudi architecture. These patterns appeared in the hot, humid southern region, such as Najran Province.
This pattern is a form of conical huts, of African origin from wood, walls and ceilings made of clay, and also shows the African influence in building materials and the various forms of these huts. These patterns have entered the areas inhabited by Africans and Sudanese in the Kingdom and these designs provide moisture to the atmosphere Al-Har which controls Saudi Arabia.
We see many obstacles that architecture faces in preserving its own identity in Saudi society, yet every society faces a real challenge to preserve its identity for any period of time, especially in light of rapid economic conditions and technological change, it is important to understand how the concept is understood by people and designers identity In Saudi Arabia today.