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The Courtyard House of Syria

Hi Everyone,

Many historic houses in Damascus are still occupied to this day! One of the most prominent features of such houses is the central open courtyard, with a water fountain, seating for the family and guests, and usually an alcove (Iwan) where residents can entertain guests and cool off in the summer. Based on the Article written by Mahmoud Zein Alabidin, the courtyard house is one of the most enduring architectural forms, transcending regional, historical and cultural boundaries. Its balance of simple appropriate construction, environmental control and social and familial structures continues to engage architects and architectural historians. The emphasis on the courtyard in Islamic architecture gave it the name of the "architecture of the veil" because it focuses on the inner spaces (courtyards and rooms) which are not visible from the outside. Courtyard housing is an architectural device with a long history first appearing in the buildings of Syria and Iraq 3K ago.