WIT Press


The Mechanism Of The Rawāshīn: The Case Study Of Makkah

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/ARC100481

Volume

128

Pages

13

Page Range

561 - 573

Published

2010

Size

1,102 kb

Author(s)

F. Al-Murahhem

Abstract

This paper highlights one of the traditional architectural features in Makkah, the holy city of Islam that is located in the Hijaz region of Saudi Arabia. This element, which is called locally \“roshan / roshān, pl. rawasheen / rawāshīn”, is a type of projected wooden screen. It covers the façade of the building and protects it as a garment. Most, if not all, of these buildings have been demolished, due to the need for the enlargement of the area surrounding the Holy mosque to accommodate the increased number of pilgrims. Therefore, understanding the mechanism of the rawāshīn could help to: emphasis its importance, reinvent a similar element and/or to preserve such an element through documentation. This wooden garment that wraps the skin of the building has unique parts and is constructed in a way that mimics the features of the human face. That is, the upper part could be seen as the forehead, the middle part mimics the eye and the nose and the lower part as a chin. Each part, with its ornamentation, fulfils a specific function from within the house and keeps it cold and airy. The rawāshīn do not just work as functional architectural elements, they also provide aesthetic benefits from inside and outside the house. This paper reflects also cultural aspects related to the architecture and inhabitation of the region and the impact of Islamic architecture in Makkah. More importantly, it echoes the harmonisation between architecture and the nature of the environment. That is to say, traditional architecture and its elements, as a source of knowledge, can give lessons in many aspects to the coming generation, including eco-architecture. Keywords: rawasheen or rawāshīn, projected window, wooden window, traditional houses, Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Islamic architecture, dry environment, mechanism.

Keywords

rawasheen or rawāshīn, projected window, wooden window, traditional houses, Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Islamic architecture, dry environment, mechanism