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Scientific Papers Abstract Submission

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2nd Track : Rethinking the Mosque Architecture of the Future

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Author

Research paper Title

Beyond Morphology, Mediterranean Housing Cultures (Chapter contributor) Editor Adelina Picone 2014CLEAN, VIA Diodato Lion 19, 80134Napol,2014.An Ascending Manifesto, for post-war reconstruction of Syria. The University of Venice IUAV, Venice, Italy. July 2018.The Five Envelops of Architecture in the Art of Shazly Khan, Damascus university refereed magazine : /1222016 An Experimentation and Proposal For Addressing the Preparatory Stage of Graduation Project in faculties of architecture, Damascus university refereed magazine 2014.The Vitruvian Triad as a base for an introduction to the Theory of Architecture, A Pedagogical Approach. , Damascus university refereed magazine 2015.

Personal Biography

Wael Samhouri وائل السمهوري (born 1958 in Damascus) is a Syrian-Palestinian architect and professor of Architecture and Urban Design. He is currently the chairman of the Department of Theory & History of Architecture in Damascus University, and was previously the founding chairman of two other private architecture departments. His architectural practice Wael Samhouri Architecture & Urban Design (first founded in 1992) in Syria, has produced award-winning designs. His research and writing interest is currently in sacred architecture and its representation in the modern world (1) and the philosophy of post-war reconstruction architecture. EDUCATION & CAREER: Samhouri graduated from Damascus University with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1983, then continued pursuing his post graduate studies in Architecture and Urban design between New York and London. In 1987 he held a Masters in Sciences in Urban Design from Pratt Institute, New York (2) and later in 1990, a Ph. D. in Architecture & Urban Design from the Royal College of Art in London. (3) Later in 1992, he founded his own practice Wael Samhouri Architecture & Urban Design in Damascus, Syria. He has been a member of several committees and NGOs. (9) From 2007 to 2010, he was a member of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture Technical Review team. (8) In 2008, he joined the board of trustees of the Aga Khan Development Network in Syria. (10) Alongside practicing Architecture, Samhouri has been a professor and chairman of the Department of Theory & History of Architecture in Damascus University since 2004. He was also the founding Chairman of the Department of Architecture in the University of Kalamoon, Syria (2004-2006), and in the International University of Science & Technology, Syria (2006-2010). (11) AWARDS: Wael Samhouri was named ‘Best Architect’ in the Arab League Best Architect Award in 2000. (4) In 2004, he won the first award in the Master Planning Category of Cityscape 2004 Architectural Review Awards - Dubai & London, for his project ‘Eastern Park of Damascus’. (5) And again in 2005, where he received the Cityscape first award in the Islamic Architecture category for his Al Hasani Madrasa & Mosque in Old Damascus, Syria. (6) He also received the Cityscape Special Award (Highly Commended—Master Planning) in 2010 for his latest project, Damascus University’s Faculty of Letters and Humanities new campus, which is currently under the final stages of construction. (7) He won also the award to design the Seera museum & research centre in Kuwait with Gulf Consult WORKS: Mashari Al-Naim , a Famous Arab architectural critic wrote: “Wael Samhouri's architecture raises many questions about identity, as it is an architecture that escapes from the tight prison of traditions and opens itself up to a development that embodies the spirit of the time. His architecture is worthy of consideration and study, as it does not leave itself to the whim of the “prevalent” and “required” that many Arab architects fell into. Therefore, we see what there is [in his work] what we can look, into and around, to establish a contemporary Arabic language in architecture.” Wael Samhouri’s work could be considered to belong to a Regionalist (or rather Critical Regionalist) architecture - although he has now evolved to embrace a different approach. • Al-Shaykh Badr Al-Din Al –Hassani Islamic Center & Mosque (Completed in 1998) (12) • Syrian Computer & Informatics Society Head Quarters (completed) (13) • Faculty of Medicine Library. (completed in 2000) (14) • New complex of the faculty of letters & humanities, University of Damascus. (15) • The Al-Seera And Al-Hadeeth Al-Shareef Centre, Kuwait, With GC Gulf Consult his work has been exhibited in the La Biennale di Venezia 2014, and included in the accompanying book iTitle: Architecture from the Arab World : 1914-2014... Architecture from the Arab World : 1914-2014 (a selection) ; [Fundamentalists and Other Arab Modernisms, Kingdom of Bahrain National Participation ; 14th International Architecture Exhibition ; La Biennale di Venezia 2014]. Arbid, George (cur.): PUBLILCATIONS: د. وائل السمهوري 2021. ثلاثية فتروفيوس بوصفها مدخل لنظرية العمارة «مقاربة تعليمية». مجلة جامعة دمشق للعلوم الهندسية. 34, 1 (2021). The Vitruvian Triad as a base for an introduction to the Theory of Architecture A Pedagogical Approach - An ascending manifesto for post-war reconstruction of Syria, مجلة جامعة دمشق للعلوم الهندسية المجلد 32، العدد 1 (30 يونيو/حزيران 2016)، ص ص. 191-203، 13ص. - The Five Envelops of Architecture in the Art of Shazly Khan مجلد 33 عدد 1 (2017): العلوم العلوم الهندسية Beyond Morphology, in Mediterranean Housing Cultures Editor Adelina Picone © 2014CLEAN, VIA Diodato Lion 19, 80134Napoli - Architecture & The Middle East: International panel discussion dAP Digital Architecture Papers http://www.architecturalpapers.ch/index.php?ID=69 REFERENCES: (1) Arbid, George and Oswalt, Philipp. Designing Modernity: Architecture in theArab World 1945-1973, Berlin, Boston: JOVIS Verlag GmbH, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783868598308dAP (architecturalpapers.ch) (2) Arbid, George and Oswalt, Philipp. Designing Modernity: Architecture in theArab World 1945-1973, Berlin, Boston: JOVIS Verlag GmbH, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783868598308Archnet > Authority > Wael Samhouri. (3) Interview: British-Syrian academic Ahmad Sukkar speaks on architecture education in the region - wael samhouri International invited competition, Kuwait, The Grand Mosque of Kuwait University. In JV with Cambridge 7, USA and Gulf Consult, Kuwait.Round City (round-city.com) (4) Winners of CARA awards - News | Khaleej Times (5) Interview: British-Syrian academic Ahmad Sukkar speaks on architecture education in the region - Round City (round-city.com) (6) دوموس يوليو/اغسطس 2009 (7) Archnet > Publication > Dowlat II Residential Building On-site Review Report (8) ACA Archives - Wael Samhouri (arab-architecture.org) (9) Archnet > Authority > Wael Samhouri (10) al-Asad, Mohammad. 2012. "Religious Projects: The Quiet Decade". In Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism in the Middle East, 56-67. Gainesville: University Press of Florida (11) (12) (13) Interview: British-Syrian academic Ahmad Sukkar speaks on architecture education in the region - wael samhouri International invited competition, Kuwait, The Grand Mosque of Kuwait University. In JV with Cambridge 7, USA and Gulf Consult, Kuwait.Round City (round-city.com) (14)

Paper Abstract

Towards a Manifesto for a Future Mosque: Meta-Architectural Reflections & Hermeneutics Prof. Wael Samhouri, B.Arch., MSUD (Pratt) New York; Ph.D. (RCA) London Architect - Syria and Palestine Abstract Manifestos, as formats for presenting ideas, often reflect the subjective thoughts of their authors. However, their importance in architectural theory is undeniable, having proven effective since the early 20th century in highlighting objective truths that have advanced the profession and contributed to architectural discourse. Years ago, I was tasked to design a small mosque just outside the old city walls of Damascus. Alongside professional studies analyzing the site's and program’s challenges, I sought sources of inspiration, asking myself a crucial question: How do we design a contemporary mosque that befits not just its usual function, but the higher reasons for its existence? I discovered a vast gap between the broad meaning of the content (the act of prostration, sujoud) and the limited space of the container, the masjid—the building, the mosque- architecture. This led me to understand that a conventional design output would not suffice. Rather, my design needed to contribute to a novel theoretical framework for contemporary Islamic architecture, particularly focusing on the mosque. Inspired by 20th-century architectural pioneers who combined practical works with theoretical manifestos, I decided to create a manifesto for mosque architecture. This manifesto would serve as a foundation for my design, addressing both the immediate project and the broader context of Islamic architectural thought. Manifestos provide a suitable format for architects to present problematic ideas, including self-justification and a roadmap for their work. Sometimes, these manifestos take on a proselytizing nature, seeking to rally support for the proposed intellectual framework. Despite the flexibility this format offers, it is essential that the thesis within is robust enough to compensate for any perceived leniency in scientific academic writing. This is particularly important in architecture, a field uniquely positioned between science, art, and philosophy… This manifesto is not a stubborn attempt to convince skeptical readers but rather a friendly polemic among those passionate about discovering the essence of mosque architecture. It is a collaborative effort to address this architectural form in a meaningful and appropriate way. Through meta-architectural reflections and hermeneutics, this manifesto seeks to provide answers that could pave the way for future mosque design. Unlike passive “interpretations,” “hermeneutics” offer an active approach to synthesizing ideas, enabling a deeper understanding and innovative application in architectural practice.

Paper Abstract file

Theme

2nd Track : Rethinking the Mosque Architecture of the Future

Role/Contribution

Author

Research paper Title

Towards a Manifesto for a Future Mosque: Meta-Architectural Reflections & Hermeneutics

Personal Biography

Wael Samhouri وائل السمهوري (born 1958 in Damascus) is a Syrian-Palestinian architect and professor of Architecture and Urban Design. He is currently the chairman of the Department of Theory & History of Architecture in Damascus University, and was previously the founding chairman of two other private architecture departments. His architectural practice Wael Samhouri Architecture & Urban Design (first founded in 1992) in Syria, has produced award-winning designs. His research and writing interest is currently in sacred architecture and its representation in the modern world (1) and the philosophy of post-war reconstruction architecture. EDUCATION & CAREER: Samhouri graduated from Damascus University with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1983, then continued pursuing his post graduate studies in Architecture and Urban design between New York and London. In 1987 he held a Masters in Sciences in Urban Design from Pratt Institute, New York (2) and later in 1990, a Ph. D. in Architecture & Urban Design from the Royal College of Art in London. (3) Later in 1992, he founded his own practice Wael Samhouri Architecture & Urban Design in Damascus, Syria. He has been a member of several committees and NGOs. (9) From 2007 to 2010, he was a member of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture Technical Review team. (8) In 2008, he joined the board of trustees of the Aga Khan Development Network in Syria. (10) Alongside practicing Architecture, Samhouri has been a professor and chairman of the Department of Theory & History of Architecture in Damascus University since 2004. He was also the founding Chairman of the Department of Architecture in the University of Kalamoon, Syria (2004-2006), and in the International University of Science & Technology, Syria (2006-2010). (11) AWARDS: Wael Samhouri was named ‘Best Architect’ in the Arab League Best Architect Award in 2000. (4) In 2004, he won the first award in the Master Planning Category of Cityscape 2004 Architectural Review Awards - Dubai & London, for his project ‘Eastern Park of Damascus’. (5) And again in 2005, where he received the Cityscape first award in the Islamic Architecture category for his Al Hasani Madrasa & Mosque in Old Damascus, Syria. (6) He also received the Cityscape Special Award (Highly Commended—Master Planning) in 2010 for his latest project, Damascus University’s Faculty of Letters and Humanities new campus, which is currently under the final stages of construction. (7) He won also the award to design the Seera museum & research centre in Kuwait with Gulf Consult WORKS: Mashari Al-Naim , a Famous Arab architectural critic wrote: “Wael Samhouri's architecture raises many questions about identity, as it is an architecture that escapes from the tight prison of traditions and opens itself up to a development that embodies the spirit of the time. His architecture is worthy of consideration and study, as it does not leave itself to the whim of the “prevalent” and “required” that many Arab architects fell into. Therefore, we see what there is [in his work] what we can look, into and around, to establish a contemporary Arabic language in architecture.” Wael Samhouri’s work could be considered to belong to a Regionalist (or rather Critical Regionalist) architecture - although he has now evolved to embrace a different approach. • Al-Shaykh Badr Al-Din Al –Hassani Islamic Center & Mosque (Completed in 1998) (12) • Syrian Computer & Informatics Society Head Quarters (completed) (13) • Faculty of Medicine Library. (completed in 2000) (14) • New complex of the faculty of letters & humanities, University of Damascus. (15) • The Al-Seera And Al-Hadeeth Al-Shareef Centre, Kuwait, With GC Gulf Consult his work has been exhibited in the La Biennale di Venezia 2014, and included in the accompanying book iTitle: Architecture from the Arab World : 1914-2014... Architecture from the Arab World : 1914-2014 (a selection) ; [Fundamentalists and Other Arab Modernisms, Kingdom of Bahrain National Participation ; 14th International Architecture Exhibition ; La Biennale di Venezia 2014]. Arbid, George (cur.): PUBLILCATIONS: د. وائل السمهوري 2021. ثلاثية فتروفيوس بوصفها مدخل لنظرية العمارة «مقاربة تعليمية». مجلة جامعة دمشق للعلوم الهندسية. 34, 1 (2021). The Vitruvian Triad as a base for an introduction to the Theory of Architecture A Pedagogical Approach - An ascending manifesto for post-war reconstruction of Syria, مجلة جامعة دمشق للعلوم الهندسية المجلد 32، العدد 1 (30 يونيو/حزيران 2016)، ص ص. 191-203، 13ص. - The Five Envelops of Architecture in the Art of Shazly Khan مجلد 33 عدد 1 (2017): العلوم العلوم الهندسية Beyond Morphology, in Mediterranean Housing Cultures Editor Adelina Picone © 2014CLEAN, VIA Diodato Lion 19, 80134Napoli - Architecture & The Middle East: International panel discussion dAP Digital Architecture Papers http://www.architecturalpapers.ch/index.php?ID=69 REFERENCES: (1) Arbid, George and Oswalt, Philipp. Designing Modernity: Architecture in theArab World 1945-1973, Berlin, Boston: JOVIS Verlag GmbH, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783868598308dAP (architecturalpapers.ch) (2) Arbid, George and Oswalt, Philipp. Designing Modernity: Architecture in theArab World 1945-1973, Berlin, Boston: JOVIS Verlag GmbH, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783868598308Archnet > Authority > Wael Samhouri. (3) Interview: British-Syrian academic Ahmad Sukkar speaks on architecture education in the region - wael samhouri International invited competition, Kuwait, The Grand Mosque of Kuwait University. In JV with Cambridge 7, USA and Gulf Consult, Kuwait.Round City (round-city.com) (4) Winners of CARA awards - News | Khaleej Times (5) Interview: British-Syrian academic Ahmad Sukkar speaks on architecture education in the region - Round City (round-city.com) (6) دوموس يوليو/اغسطس 2009 (7) Archnet > Publication > Dowlat II Residential Building On-site Review Report (8) ACA Archives - Wael Samhouri (arab-architecture.org) (9) Archnet > Authority > Wael Samhouri (10) al-Asad, Mohammad. 2012. "Religious Projects: The Quiet Decade". In Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism in the Middle East, 56-67. Gainesville: University Press of Florida (11) (12) (13) Interview: British-Syrian academic Ahmad Sukkar speaks on architecture education in the region - wael samhouri International invited competition, Kuwait, The Grand Mosque of Kuwait University. In JV with Cambridge 7, USA and Gulf Consult, Kuwait.Round City (round-city.com) (14)

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لوريم إيبسوم دولور سيت أميت، كونسيكتيتور أديبيسينغ إليت. سد كونسيكوات فيليت أت أنتي بيبندوم، إن ديكتوم إليت ديغنيسيم. إنتيجر أك ليغولا إو كوام كومودو إليمنتوم. أليكوام إيرات فولوتبات. فيسللوس أوت جوستو فيل سابين إيفيسيتور كورسوس. بروين نك ليو فيل دولور جرافيدا كونسيكتيتور. أوت إيد تورتور نيك توربيس لاسينيا فيوغيات. أليكوام إيرات فولوتبات. بيلينتيسكو
لوريم إيبسوم دولور سيت أميت، كونسيكتيتور أديبيسينغ إليت. سد كونسيكوات فيليت أت أنتي بيبندوم، إن ديكتوم إليت ديغنيسيم. إنتيجر أك ليغولا إو كوام كومودو إليمنتوم. أليكوام إيرات فولوتبات. فيسللوس أوت جوستو فيل سابين إيفيسيتور كورسوس. بروين نك ليو فيل دولور جرافيدا كونسيكتيتور. أوت إيد تورتور نيك توربيس لاسينيا فيوغيات. أليكوام إيرات فولوتبات. بيلينتيسكو