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The Architectural Culture of the Eurasian Mediterranean Region


mediterranean region

When it comes to architectural designs, one of the crucial roles is to pay attention to nature and environment since architecture needs to blend into the scenery to appear natural. It means it is important to create an ambiance of co-existence and the perfect relationship between nature, architecture and human beings.

This review will examine the architectural culture in the Eurasian Mediterranean region where new cities develop rapidly and how the architectural style reflects the link between the people and the environment. The environmental mechanisms are in perfect proportion to basic habitability, ethnicity, and passive conditioning, which are the key elements in the analysis of the architecture in the region.New infrastructure has to build on these elements since it has to be accepted by the people, whereby sustainability of new urban infrastructure is also one of the key points.

Therefore, it is significant to understand the interaction between humans and nature, and the more we understand it, the better the urban infrastructure will be. The Eurasian Mediterranean region is a perfect example of a perfectly harmonized relationship and interaction between people, infrastructure, and nature. The region has fostered a very special architectural culture for many centuries now. The environmental ecosystem corresponds to the urban lifestyle of people.

There are different systemic architectural elements or needs, and they are basic habitability, ethnicity, and passive conditioning. They represent core systems that were the foundation for architectural planning by humans, and they account for strategic building reducing human error and reinforcing architectural resources.

Basic Habitability

The basic habitability need accounts for a healthy environment and life, as well as for protection against climate conditions and it is projected in systems which account for water and light supply, preservation of the interior of homes and buildings. Basic habitability was the first need that was regarded when building infrastructure in the past. Ethnicity and passive conditioning emerged somewhat later.
Basic habitability refers to building and planning of the functionality of the building or dwelling, e.g. roof construction, ground, walls, and the materials used to build. It also covers for sustainability of water, light, and includes ventilation (where the openings will be placed in the dwelling).


The ethnic need exhibits the styles of different peoples in the region and reveals many facts about their traditions and customs, their family relationships, as well as their social overall structure. It also includes technical capacities to organize physical resources. The ethnic element fosters tradition and habits of a group of people who feel more comfortable in such an environment and it is reflected in their architectural culture. Ethnicity accounts for arrangements like isolated and clustered neighborhoods, as well as divisions or zones by comfort and activity and the purpose of the dwelling.

Passive Conditioning

The passive conditioning element is the last in the historical timeline and is the latest factor to influence architectural culture in these areas. They are a kind of an upgraded version of the basic habitability elements. This factor is defined by science and resources in order to keep complex structure efficient like heat transfer.

To incorporate this factor in a dwelling, it takes technical analysis and planned strategies, but which are yet more sophisticated than basic habitability plans this element also takes into account the cultural familiarity of the people who live there and how they cope with bioclimates and their surroundings.
The element reflects accumulated energy in a dwelling (in mass like walls, and in the air like the underground floor, etc.), as well as radiation, evaporation, heat, and others. Cultural systems have to be respected when planning new infrastructure and they need to be in line with the environment and the people who inhabit the area.

The New Urban Infrastructure

Today’s way of living does require a lot of access to many facilities and humans have to find an efficient way to deal with their daily activities, but even in a modernized world, it is still possible to nourish the architectural culture and to stay true to it. Heat, electricity, running water are all factors that are a substantial part of our lives, but they can also blend in with the architectural style. Infrastructure should stay recognizable, but functional, and it has to correspond to the environment and area.

Based on analyses of the Eurasian Mediterranean region, it is clear that new infrastructure build in rapidly growing cities should be in line with the cultural system of the region. A global architectural approach is not ideal since all areas, and parts of the world differ, and each should follow the nature and climate of its area.

Urban settlements should still be functional and sustainable in order to attract population, but it should be conveyed in a way to be unique and recognizable. New urban settlements should fit in the panorama of a specific area not deviating in style and structure from it. It should mirror the region’s habits, tradition, and architectural culture. A global architectural approach would rather cause chaos to the infrastructure, so it is better to nourish the style of a specific area.