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Baghdad Arts Deco: Architectural Brickwork, 1920-1950by Caecilia. Pieri
Synopses & Reviews
An homage to the modern architectural landscape of Iraq.
Despite dictatorship, international sanctions, and the ravages of war, Baghdad endures with a surprisingly exceptional modern architectural heritage. This beautifully illustrated study reveals the splendors of early twentieth-century architecture that still stand on the streets of Iraq's capital.
From 1920 to 1950, in the process of nation-building, Baghdad was transformed into a true city built of brick, one that became the harbinger of the Arab architectural renaissance, its local traditions reinterpreted and adapted into a modern vernacular style. Caecilia Pieri's documentation foregrounds the physical reality of modern Baghdad, very different from the image that we normally receive from the media. She draws on a number of unpublished sources and documents, to present Baghdad's architecture in a historical perspective, and her striking photographs taken between 2003 and 2006 document the residential areas of the twentieth-century city, providing an unprecedented resource for historians, urban planners, and general readers interested in discovering a new face of a world capital. With essays by Rifat Chadirji, Ihsan Fethi, and Naïm Kattan.
Book News Annotation:
"From the 1920s to the 1950s, residential architecture in Baghdad became a model of excellence, inventiveness, and know-how," states Pieri in her introductory essay, particularly with regard to brickwork. In this elegantly produced oversize volume (10x12") she offers a history of the city beginning in 1860, continuing through its entrance into the modern era, building during the 1930s, the "mutation of references" during the 1940s, and current urban and national planning. The narrative is illustrated throughout, but the second part of the book showcases the author's numerous photos and focuses on details of roofs, terraces, balconies, arches, columns, and other aspects of the architecture. Pieri earned her doctorate in history and civilizations from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris. Distributed in North America by Oxford University Press. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
An homage to the modern architectural landscape of Iraq
About the Author
Caecilia Pieri, a senior editor at Editions du Patrimoine, Paris, is a scholar of architecture, urbanism, and cultural heritage. She has a PhD ib History of Architecture and Urbanism from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris). She has traveled widely in the Middle East for over twenty years.
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Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Africa and Middle East