Arish: Palm-Leaf Architecture

Arish: Palm-Leaf Architecture

  1. Sandra Piesik
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  • ISBN 9780500342800
  • 29.00 x 24.00 cm
  • Hardback
  • 192pp
  • 295 Illustrations, 255 in colour
  • First published 2012
‘This extremely well written, beautifully illustrated book will do much to revitalise and preserve a centuries old structural and decorative building resource in the U.A.E and their region’ – Alexander Maitland

Traditional buildings made from the leaves of date palms have provided shelter from the extreme climate of the Arabian peninsula for generations. Just as bamboo is central to many forms of Asian vernacular constructions, so is palm leaf in the United Arab Emirates and surrounding countries.

Arish: Palm-Leaf Architecture celebrates this unique indigenous building and craft tradition and provides the foundation for a genuine understanding of the region, critical in the fast-developing global economy.

Palm leaves have been used in ingenious ways to create habitable structures that have endured for decades. In many regions this is referred to as Arish. However, with slick contemporary Western architecture now being used to promote the international stature of countries in the Gulf regions, many of these localized techniques are being lost.

This book, the product of a three-year research programme, provides a comprehensive overview of palm-leaf architecture, its history and traditions and includes:

• an overview in historical photographs
• a comparison of regional variations in the United Arab Emirates
• a focus on architectural and stylistic details
• contemporary applications of palm-leaf architecture
• a resources section, including a step-by-step introduction to the making of Arish, from raw material to built form.

Sandra Piesik is the founder of 3 ideas Limited, an architectural consultancy specializing in architecture, design and cultural research. She has worked extensively in the United Arab Emirates on projects that have aimed to reconnect historic UAE culture and its heritage to the contemporary environment, and has focused in particular on the use of palm-leaf construction methods. She is a chartered member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and was recently invited to become a Nominator for the Aga Khan Award in Architecture projects.