IconiCity: Seeking Identity by Building Iconic Architectures in Kuwait

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Emirates Airlines website welcomes visitors by stating that Dubai’s iconic architecture is not only
encouraged, but “actively pursued.” A subsequent list of evidence describing extreme heights, unconventional shapes, and cutting-edge materials supports the claim.2 The Gulf states have turned to architecture as a way to build globally-recognized skylines. This wave of new, iconic buildings is often an attempt to
build an urban uniqueness which, moreover, is part of the quest for a stronger national and social identity.
A landmark is traditionally a symbol that raises a sense of belonging in the local population, but normally
monuments are few in the urban fabric, and they are limited to specific spaces of public interest. But what
happens when the city itself becomes composed of a significant number of icons, and the urban fabric is
just the “in between”? Kuwait is an interesting case in the Gulf because it has a more consolidated pre-existing urban form, and these ‘new objects’ are not related at any level, neither in scale nor in language to
the surrounding context. The current transformation process focuses on the development of isolated elements, self-standing on their own plot and auto-referential. Around them, the connective fabric is left with
poor design and modest construction quality.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Pages (from-to)13-16
Number of pages4
JournalOxford Gulf & Arabian Peninsula Studies Forum
VolumeAutumn
Issue number2016
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2016

Fingerprint

Persian Gulf
new building
Kuwait
local population
public interest
website
symbol
language
evidence
fabric
gulf

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Urban Studies

Cite this

@article{0fddb2ed074245bc9a7959a64f85775b,
title = "IconiCity: Seeking Identity by Building Iconic Architectures in Kuwait",
abstract = "The Emirates Airlines website welcomes visitors by stating that Dubai’s iconic architecture is not onlyencouraged, but “actively pursued.” A subsequent list of evidence describing extreme heights, unconventional shapes, and cutting-edge materials supports the claim.2 The Gulf states have turned to architecture as a way to build globally-recognized skylines. This wave of new, iconic buildings is often an attempt tobuild an urban uniqueness which, moreover, is part of the quest for a stronger national and social identity.A landmark is traditionally a symbol that raises a sense of belonging in the local population, but normallymonuments are few in the urban fabric, and they are limited to specific spaces of public interest. But whathappens when the city itself becomes composed of a significant number of icons, and the urban fabric isjust the “in between”? Kuwait is an interesting case in the Gulf because it has a more consolidated pre-existing urban form, and these ‘new objects’ are not related at any level, neither in scale nor in language tothe surrounding context. The current transformation process focuses on the development of isolated elements, self-standing on their own plot and auto-referential. Around them, the connective fabric is left withpoor design and modest construction quality.",
author = "Roberto Fabbri",
year = "2016",
month = "11",
day = "22",
language = "English",
volume = "Autumn",
pages = "13--16",
journal = "Oxford Gulf & Arabian Peninsula Studies Forum",
number = "2016",

}

IconiCity: Seeking Identity by Building Iconic Architectures in Kuwait. / Fabbri, Roberto.

In: Oxford Gulf & Arabian Peninsula Studies Forum, Vol. Autumn, No. 2016, 5, 22.11.2016, p. 13-16.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - IconiCity: Seeking Identity by Building Iconic Architectures in Kuwait

AU - Fabbri, Roberto

PY - 2016/11/22

Y1 - 2016/11/22

N2 - The Emirates Airlines website welcomes visitors by stating that Dubai’s iconic architecture is not onlyencouraged, but “actively pursued.” A subsequent list of evidence describing extreme heights, unconventional shapes, and cutting-edge materials supports the claim.2 The Gulf states have turned to architecture as a way to build globally-recognized skylines. This wave of new, iconic buildings is often an attempt tobuild an urban uniqueness which, moreover, is part of the quest for a stronger national and social identity.A landmark is traditionally a symbol that raises a sense of belonging in the local population, but normallymonuments are few in the urban fabric, and they are limited to specific spaces of public interest. But whathappens when the city itself becomes composed of a significant number of icons, and the urban fabric isjust the “in between”? Kuwait is an interesting case in the Gulf because it has a more consolidated pre-existing urban form, and these ‘new objects’ are not related at any level, neither in scale nor in language tothe surrounding context. The current transformation process focuses on the development of isolated elements, self-standing on their own plot and auto-referential. Around them, the connective fabric is left withpoor design and modest construction quality.

AB - The Emirates Airlines website welcomes visitors by stating that Dubai’s iconic architecture is not onlyencouraged, but “actively pursued.” A subsequent list of evidence describing extreme heights, unconventional shapes, and cutting-edge materials supports the claim.2 The Gulf states have turned to architecture as a way to build globally-recognized skylines. This wave of new, iconic buildings is often an attempt tobuild an urban uniqueness which, moreover, is part of the quest for a stronger national and social identity.A landmark is traditionally a symbol that raises a sense of belonging in the local population, but normallymonuments are few in the urban fabric, and they are limited to specific spaces of public interest. But whathappens when the city itself becomes composed of a significant number of icons, and the urban fabric isjust the “in between”? Kuwait is an interesting case in the Gulf because it has a more consolidated pre-existing urban form, and these ‘new objects’ are not related at any level, neither in scale nor in language tothe surrounding context. The current transformation process focuses on the development of isolated elements, self-standing on their own plot and auto-referential. Around them, the connective fabric is left withpoor design and modest construction quality.

M3 - Article

VL - Autumn

SP - 13

EP - 16

JO - Oxford Gulf & Arabian Peninsula Studies Forum

JF - Oxford Gulf & Arabian Peninsula Studies Forum

IS - 2016

M1 - 5

ER -