Building of a “new” architectural tradition in Kyrgyzstan: the case study of the open air park “Manas Ayili”
Kyrgyzstan experienced very critical moment during a transition from the Soviet Union state into new independent republic. Despite being rooted in the rich history of great civilizations and cultural traditions, there was an urge for the new national identity, which would unify people. In this context, new national elites promoted a mythical figure of the noble Kyrgyz hero - Manas, to portray the primordial origins of Kyrgyz culture and a tradition centred on him. It turned his image into a powerful tool to forge a new Kyrgyz identity in a nation building process. The same year, a governmental committee announced a design competition for a realization of an open-air ethno-cultural park - “Manas Ayili”. The winner of the competition, a Kyrgyz architect Dyushen Omuraliev supervised both design and construction processes in the project. The aim of this thesis is to study the discourse of Omuraliev, and in particular to focus on his attempt on transfer of ethnic, cultural and mythical symbols into an architectural language. A “new” national architectural language expected to embody values and ideals of the brand new Kyrgyz nation, and at the same time to herald the construction of the strong tradition to support the new national identity. The thesis attempts to analyze and discuss the case study of Manas Ayili and an approach of the architect in order to point out the number of significant connections with the architectural theories. In particular, the thesis will be evaluated through the four key criteria: locus, metaphor, type and diagram, which would allow to relocate the discussion to an international level. Eventually, the thesis attempts to derive the process of “construction” or “invention” tradition by the architect, on the background of the complex political and social changes.