WIT Press


CLASSIFICATION OF RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS IN THE OLD CITY OF HEBRON

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/STR170101

Volume

171

Pages

12

Page Range

111 - 122

Published

2017

Author(s)

GHASSAN J. DWEIK, WAEL S. SHAHEEN

Abstract

The architectural style of buildings in Hebron’s Old City – Hebron, a Palestinian city – is the same as that of most Islamic world cities and takes the form of houses with internal backyards. This is a result of the conditions particular to Islamic society in which residential areas have narrow streets, covered markets, mosques surrounded by a safe zone, and stone-paved courtyards. Visitors to Hebron discover pleasing architectural vistas and associated aesthetics. They may be amazed at how Muslim architects have built constructions that match the environmental and psychological conditions to enable integration between dwellings and humans in a secure form that does not violate the environment. The principles of architecture were based on the welfare of the residents for whom the houses were built. Areas of privacy were made for the collective activities of extended families, with greater privacy for smaller families. Efforts were made to ensure comfort in the house. Thus, houses were constructed while taking the local environment into consideration to ensure the comfort of the residents. The fact that several houses shared the same external walls helped to make people living in Hebron feel safe. The buildings formed a type of wall around the Old City in which each house shaded the other and also provided shade to passers-by. These factors were all taken into account by the Muslim architect, who followed the rules of Islam on the principles of construction.

Keywords

conservation, Hebron old city – Palestine, residential buildings, privacy