Diary / Conferences


‘The Architecture Between Tradition And Modernity’ by Leon Telvizian at IBA2

Subject: Architecture
Speaker: Leon Telvizian
Date: Feb 26, 2015 At 18:00
City: Beirut
Address: The Library, Department of Architecture at the Lebanese University, 2nd Branch, Furn El Chebbak.

You are cordially invited to a public lecture entitled "THE ARCHITECTURE BETWEEN TRADITION AND MODERNITY" by Leon Telvizian who will talk about the work of Rifat Chaderji on Thursday, February 26th at 6pm, in the library of the department of Architecture of the Lebanese University in Furn El Chebbak, Beirut.

An exhibition about the work of Rifat Chaderji entitled "A PIONEER OF MODERN ARCHITECTURE IN THE ARAB WORLD" will take place at "La Grande Salle" of IBA2 in Furn El Chebbak from the 23rd of February until the 27th of the same.

Rifat Kamil Chadirji , an Iraqi architect and author , was born on December 6, 1926 in Baghdad.

He has imbued his work with a deep understanding of the roots of authentic regional expression, as well as a true appreciation of modernism and its principles. Chadirji has shown a unique capacity for the synthesis of form and function that translates traditional architectural idioms into contemporary expressions.

Chadirji's contributions transcend a mere body of work, important as that may be, for he also is a major figure in one of the most important and influential architectural schools in the Arab world. The Baghdad School of Architecture, where Chadirji taught for many years, has keenly felt Chadirji's influence. Rejecting the use of the forms of the past, Chadirji devised a synthesis of form that could translate into a new and contemporary urban aesthetic -- one that would guide the articulations of a genuinely modern Iraqi town-scape in the latter part of the 20th century.

"I set out to learn from traditional architecture and to achieve a synthesis between traditional forms and inevitable advent of modern technology. My aim was to create an architecture which at once aknowledges the place in which it is built, yet which sacrifices nothing to modern technical capability. At the same time I was concerned to understand analytically the reasoning behind traditional devices of environmental control such as courtyards, screen walls, natural ventilation, and reflected light." (Source: Rifat Chadirji. Contemporary Architects, 1987, p. 163. )

(Rifat Chadirji’s work description is taken from

Leon Telvizian is an Architect and Urban Designer; President of the Chadirji Foundation in Lebanon; University Professor; Author of many published articles and studies on local urban development, planning, urban design and urban cultural heritage; Trained in Lebanon, Canada and France; Founder and Head of the Planning Department at the Lebanese University from 1997 to 2007. Founder of CERDA (Centre d’Étude et de Recherche en Développement et Aménagement) at the Lebanese University; Active member of UNESCO Chairs, namely “Landscape and Environmental Design”; Winner of many international scientific and operational research competition projects, namely TEMPUS (European Union), PCSI of AUF (Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie) and CEDRE (France and Lebanon). His experience covers the fields of international cooperation and scientific and professional practice of urban design and local sustainable development; Consultant and expert for EU (Participatory Planning), UN-ESCWA (Urban Observatories for Arab and ESCWA Region), UNDP/UN-HABITAT (Local Strategic and Regional Planning in Lebanon) and UNESCO (Urban Heritage).

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