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Arish: Palm-Leaf Architecture

Sandra Piesik

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An in-depth, vibrantly illustrated survey of palm-leaf architecture: its history and traditions, its present and its future


Traditional buildings made from the leaves of date palms have provided shelter from the extreme climate of the Arabian peninsula for generations. One of the few forms of vegetation in these hot and sandy conditions, palm leaves have been used in ingenious ways to create habitable structures that have endured for generations. In many regions this is referred to as Arish.

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 context of the fast-developing global economies they have become today.

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 29.0 x 24.0 cm

Extent: 192 pp

Illustrations: 295

Publication date: 23 January 2012

ISBN: 9780500342800

Contents List

Foreword • Introduction • 1. History of Arish: Photographic Overview • 2. Palm-Leaf Architecture of the Emirates: Abu Dhabi Emirate; Fujairah and the Emirates of the North-East; Ras Al Khaimah; Umm Al Quwain; Ajman; Sharjah; Dubai • 3. Design Details • 4. Contemporary Applications • 5. Resources

About the Author

Dr Sandra Piesik is an architect and a researcher specializing in technology development and transfer. She has worked extensively in the Middle East on projects that reconnect traditional knowledge systems with modern applications, and has led successful research, development and deployment studies on the adaptation of date palm leaf architecture for modern use, which resulted in an award-winning project endorsed by the UNCCD and the book Arish: Palm-Leaf Architecture, also published by Thames & Hudson. As the founder of several multidisciplinary research groups and consortia, she is actively engaged in addressing global climate change. She was co-creator of the Urban and Rural Resilience Programme for desert regions and participated in the COP22 UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech.

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