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Symbolic Meaning of Transparency in Contemporary Architecture: An Evaluation of Recent Public Buildings in Famagusta

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DOI: 10.4236/cus.2015.34030    4,048 Downloads   6,241 Views  


The history of transparency in architecture demonstrates a long relationship between glass and architecture. Transparent glass architecture has become one of the significant characteristics of 20th century. It has been one of the materials, which were used extensively in construction; and caused a significant change in the built environment, specifically in the 21st century. Nowadays, glass can be seen as one of the basic materials used in contemporary buildings. The usage of glass in architecture, specifically in public buildings, has increased during the recent few decades, and this trend is still continuing. In addition, Modern architecture has grown rapidly around the world and it has been investigated from various aspects. However, relationship between architectural meaning and modern architecture has been one of the less investigated issues. Therefore, despite the many benefits of transparent architecture, looking for meaning is one of the important factors that need to be investigated. Since search for meaning has been one of the challenging issues for contemporary architecture, the purpose of this study is to find the link between transparent architecture and symbolic meaning in contemporary architecture to recognize how it is possible to bring these two together. To achieve this aim, the research method in this study consists of combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods, besides; literature review has been analyzed based on “content analysis method”. Under this scope, three famous transparent buildings in London have been selected as sample study. To compare and verify symbolic meaning of transparent buildings, in sample study, paper focused on recent transparent buildings in Famagusta. Accordingly, an interesting and arguable finding is that symbolism is interpreted differently by everyone and therefore it is a matter of view point. Although in general transparent architecture is symbol of modernity, but according to user’s viewpoints there is different symbolic meaning for each transparent building. This finding is a proof to this important issue that people need to have meaningful built environment, so they even assign meaning for buildings.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Sadeghi, G., Sani, R. M., & Wang, Y. (2015) Symbolic Meaning of Transparency in Contemporary Architecture: An Evaluation of Recent Public Buildings in Famagusta. Current Urban Studies, 3, 385-401. doi: 10.4236/cus.2015.34030.


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