A Critical Regionalism in the Golf Architecture: Masdar’s ‘Eco-city Project’


This article investigates how architecture design of the present adopts the values of the past and echoes Kenneth Frampton’s critical regionalism to address this question. For Frampton, architecture design is regionally influenced because it essentially deals with “specificity and locality”, however, remains sceptic to “universal technology”. Masdar City’s design represents a valuable case for this article due to this case casting light on the complexity embedded in intertwining the modernist technologies and the regional architecture. The case study’s analyses suggest that the design of the present evolves from this complexity witnessing a deviation from a “universal technology” and a local architecture. Interpretation for this deviation in Masdar City’s design points to the vernacular architecture that stitches the “globe” and the “local”. A universal technology has been witnessed in Masdar City’s design to yield support for the vernacular approaches while a local architecture holds on the vernacular’s concepts of the traditional architecture. What Frampton’s critical regionalism appears to overlook are the vernacular approaches that in analysis of this article embrace a model of the design principles for the “tectonics” to be realised. The key argument brought forward in this article concerns Frampton’s critical regionalism that yet lacks a realistic approach to produce a sense within a local context, thereby needing to neatly twist the vernacular approaches with its critical regionalism’s synthesis.