Architecture, like any art, is an expression of a philosophy of a belief(s), and intent to facilitate continuity of culture. If the architecture is religious in purpose, it represents the vitality of religious values that a people hold dear in life and a synthesis of those values narrate their ultimate life values.
Every work of architecture is symbolic. Whether it is a bank, state capitol, school, home or mosque, every building serves more than a utilitarian function. Built environments are references to something beyond themselves. They are reflections of the culture they serve. In fact, over time they help to shape that culture. Consider the role of hospitals in the culture of health care or universities in the culture of higher education.
The presence of Fatimid architecture and design principles stands out in most religious and social structures of any Shia Muslim sub-sect. This research focuses more specifically on the use of these principles in the Dawoodi Bohra community buildings. It investigates the religious and symbolic significance of these architectural and design principles within the Dawoodi Bohra faith. Furthermore it studies the architecture and designs specifically in the Fatimid structures (mosques, palaces, gateways) built in Egypt by the Fatimids themselves.
Using qualitative data collection tools like focus groups, guided interviews and questionnaires, the researcher investigated the current structures present within the Dawoodi Bohra community in Nairobi. These include two mosques and two socio-cultural halls in Nairobi. In addition, the researcher has profiled members of the community on what their understanding of these architectural and design principles is, and whether they understand their symbolic significance. The data analysis done established that the religios and symbolic significance of the Fatimid design principles is widely misunderstood and therefore misplaced in some structures of the community. It also established that these principles have not at all been applied in the socio-cultural halls where many religious activities take place- specifically in the Evan-e-Hatimi Hall in Saifee Park, Karen, Nairobi.
The data analyzed by the researcher has been presented in form of detailed reports of the findings, tables and photographs as data collection methods. In conclusion of this research, the researcher recommends incorporation of Fatimid architectural and design principles in
Evan-e-Hatimi Hall, Saifee Park to create a functional and sustainable space, that remains true to its religious function within the Dawoodi Bohra community of Nairobi.


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