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Master Plan for the New Campus of Umm Al-Qura - PERKINS AND WILL.) - 1991. 
[Chicago: Perkins and Will, 1991] - Oblong folio (280 x 435 mm). Comb-bound in original green leatherette case, titles and concentric panelling gilt to front board. A few faint scuffs and marks to front board, occasional mild toning towards extremities. A very good copy. Text in English and Arabic. Title page printed in gilt on heavy green card after design on front board, divisional titles printed in green on light card within geometric designs, initial decorative "basmalah" leaf with glassine wrapper, full-page colour photograph of architectural model, 6 page of colour photographs of Saudi royals, profuse maps, photographs, tables and plans throughout the text, in colour and black and white. An attractively presented and exhaustively documented architectural master plan, an interesting record of modern Islamic architecture, untraced in libraries or commercial records. "The Master Plan is influenced by three considerations: The Islamic Tradition, including the Saudi heritage status of Makkah Al-Mukarramah The Climate and Ecology of the Region [and] the specific operational needs as defined in the functional Space Program reflect[ing] a commitment to establishing an Islamic university of world rank" (p. 23). The architectural firm Perkins and Will were founded in Chicago in 1935 and are responsible for number of noted university buildings across North America. They were bought by Lebanese firm Dar al-Handasah in 1986, and were awarded the contract for Umm al-Qura soon after. Umm al-Qura University grew out of the College of Sharia, founded in Mecca in 1949; it assumed its present name by royal decree in 1980. It continues to focus on the Islamic sciences and is popular among the conservative population of the Hijaz, though also offers courses in medicine and the applied sciences. "Like other Islamic universities, its aim is to supply the judges, imams and teachers required throughout the country; in the government its graduates occupy posts in the ministries concerned with education, justice and 'the preservation of virtue'" (Abir, Saudi Arabia: Society, Government and the Gulf Crisis, p. 19). A laid-in letter from the chairman of the company, Robert Cooke, dated March 1992, sheds light on publication. "Although we have been working on the Umm al Qura University project in Makkah for approximately four years, we were not able to publish the Master Plan Report until six months ago. It's interesting that we published the Report after we had awarded the first construction packages! This was due to the incredible length of time it took to get the University to agree on the Arabic translations. Anyway, it's done and represents, I feel, a very thorough representation of the dedication and work of a lot of people that is resulting in a fine building complex". [Attributes: First Edition]
[Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA member]
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