New Trends in Critical Regionalism through the Lens of Tzonis and Lefaivre

Document Type : Original Article


1 PHD Student in Architecture, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Department and Faculty Member of Islamic Azad University of Mashhad, Iran

2 Professor in Architecture, Department of Arts & Architecture, Islamic Azad University, Central Tehran Branch, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor in Architecture, Department of Architecture & Urbanism, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran

4 Professor, Department of Dramatic Literature, Faculty of Art, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.


The current study aims to consider the important thoughts about regionalism in architecture, its categories, in general, and “regionalism now”, in particular, from Tzonis and Lefaivre’s perspectives. We have been motivated by the last chapter of their book, Architecture of Regionalism in the Age Globalization: Peaks and Valleys in the Flat World, in the conceptual shift to an identical and cultural landscape, in addition to economical and specially, ecological aspects over the past two decades. Thus, it presents a re-reading of regionalism from a wider inclusive framework. This paper argues that critical regionalist architecture has entered a new stage in its evolutionary process. In this context, the main goal of this paper is to develop a set of criteria that will act as a tool for identifying “Regionalism Now”. Methodologically, based on qualitative content analysis and inductive logic, these criteria can be classified to achieve a comprehensive model. The new trends in critical regionalism move toward the concept of sustainable development. Sustainability which has been raised in the last decades of twentieth century has been coincided with “regionalism”. This concept addresses the negative environmental and social impacts of structure by utilizing design methods, materials, energy and development spaces that are not detrimental to the region ecosystem or communities. The philosophy is to ensure that the actions taken today do not have negative consequences for future generations and comply with the principles of social, economic and ecological sustainability of architectural practice.