Damascus Dialogues

Architecture of the Veil
Zach Beale & Hazem Kurdali

The initial research consists of an investigation into three specific typologies that, though are not specific to Damascus, have existed in the city for centuries. These typologies include the courtyard home, the souq or covered market, and the hamam, a public bathing place. The courtyard home is investigated for its spatial relationships, namely, the relationship of the courtyard to the other components of the home that have evolved over time: Iwan, upper private spaces, and the deferred entrance. The mashrabiya is also investigated, as are the environmental considerations of airflow and privacy in regards to visibility into and out of the home. The souq is investigated in terms of architectural components, namely the column, arch, vault, and arcade, as well as the arrangement of arcades into different configurations in plan. The flow of people is also investigated, as is the movement of goods. Finally, the hamam is investigated for how the components of the typology relate to the phenomenal effects of the space, specifically to temperature, atmosphere, heat flow, and thermal zones. These are also correlated to functional zones and the flow of traffic.