2012 International Conference on Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Built Environment (ICITSBE 2012) 16-17 April 2012, Perak, MALAYSIA. Ref No.: HC-08SUSTAINING THE DESIGN ELEMENTS INFLUENCE ON THE COMFORTAND SPATIAL FUNCTIONS IN TRADITIONAL YEMEN HOUSES IN OLD CITY SANA‟A Abu Bakar Abdul Hamid1, Ahmad Haqqi Nazali Bin Abdul Razak2 1 Pusat Pengajian Senibina Dalaman, Fakulti Senibina, Perancangan & Ukur, 40450, UiTM Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia. firstname.lastname@example.org 2 Pusat Pengajian Senibina Dalaman, Fakulti Senibina, Perancangan & Ukur, 40450, UiTM Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia. email@example.comAbstractThis research endeavors to study the sustainability design elements of traditional vernacular in the Old CitySana’a in Yemen. The study is going to investigate outlook of enthusiasm respondents, level of preference andpleasure in organize to provide a narrative of the Yemeni houses criteria, unique features and future conceptionsfor comfortable and spatial functions. In this approach, the features of the houses in the area might rediscoverfor future indication. This study will support with literature on the general explanation overview of location andgeographical, climate and spatial design elements. The study will included the explanations about the spatialdesign in Old City Sana’a, multi-design in traditional tower houses in Old City Sana’a, the issues and factorsaffecting the design of traditional tower houses in Old City Sana’a. Some of several methods have been chosento get the good consequence, such as observations, measurements and questionnaires to study the comfortableand spatial functions from the respondents that include the landlord, public people and the professionalorganizations. The information will be compiled from the survey and collected to analyze the data based onresponses from the respondent’s response. The conclusion in this study will intend the design guidelines andrecommendation for future house and includes design aspects related to the house arrangement layout, thepurpose of traditional design, the traditional building material, the Islamic ethics in house include the exteriorappearance and thermal comfort conditions.Keywords: Traditional Tower House, Sustainable, House Design, Yemeni Architecture, Vernacular.1. Introduction Yemen is the land with the peaceful for a long time centuries since period of Prophet Muhammad SAW till presently by foreign awareness and chaos. Since a long time ago, all the cities and buildings is constant existing over two and half thousand years in wide area with covered some of climate (summer and winter) and gorgeousness panorama between buildings of different regions and culture. Therefore this country was regarded as an ancient city, there are has qualities, distinctively Yemeni, which will be seen throughout the country with the traditional and styles itself. In the Sana‟a vernacular traditional, some aspect should be considered such as a tradition and qualities to show the best elements and characteristic they have. The traditional Old Sana‟a city is normally having seven or eight storey with tall generously decorated towers, and decorated with crowding one another into the already-narrow alleys. A house, possibly linked by a small yard where is will use it at the lower levels, less of number window at store rooms, to elevate the living space above from the smells and noisy from the streets and to provide a secure barrier against intruders. Regarding the traditional house in Old Sana‟a city, basically the first or second storey was is linked in the yard area where the kitchen area is located. Why the kitchen is located at that storey? The reason is to hidden the sight from the men of the house and their guests. Another part area, a toilet basically
2012 International Conference on Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Built Environment (ICITSBE 2012) 16-17 April 2012, Perak, MALAYSIA. Ref No.: HC-08 designing through a channel or hole in the stone floor where to make easy the for the sewage system go out to through the drainage into a hole in the ground in the yard or directly into the street. For the water sources, the system are designing where is the water drawn from a well and carried by the women to the kitchen or by pump to a storage tank on the roof. The culture in Yemen was amazing and fully with lifestyle and harmonies. The architectural and exterior structures of house are distinctive and sustain follow by time line. A lot of house design in Old Sana‟a city are higher is more than 6 storey. The house goes up with the narrow vertical staircase and passage does not go too linked with the living area. This maze of rooms is creating confusion because sometimes got many numbers as sixty in all. Sometimes the visitor also confuses with the direction and changes in level between the corridors and doors, is very mysteriously with the variation place. Talking about the living room, is was huge because some activities were been here and depending the needed of the moment or the style of the householder. The most amazing and splendid of the rooms is located at the top house, is called as ‘muffrage’, where is a place functionally for meeting, smoking, talking and chewing ‘qat’. As like others room, the ‘muffrage’ ceiling and walls are white coloring, but it covered with the plaster and some of the plaster got carving with fully patterns around the doors and windows. The nice and beautiful part is at the top of windows, there are has some curving decoration with the colorful glass is called ‘al-qammariah’. Usually, the carvings at the top of windows will portray from the Quran, natural forming or wall-panels in Arabic script. The window itself is covered around and facing at the north part of wall of the ‘muffrage’ with huge the semi-circular openings tracing with the colored glass. When the sun going up, the natural light will going in through the windows and reach down close to the floor to guide the guests to the seating on floor-cushion. The ‘muffrage’ is furnished with the lower cushion is called ‘majlis’ with carpet together in colorful with the contrast to the plain whiteness in the room. Most of the houses in Old Sana‟a city built from the stone, brick or mud-block, and sometimes is constructing of all three. The construction may be made from the specialist craftsmen or by the householder himself, even the quarry also from his own stone and mould his own mud-blocks. The all things are very cheaper, high quality and less maintenance required. Furthermore, the technique and materials of construction in Yemen are well-suited with the climate here where high daytime temperatures and often bitterly cold nights are. The good quality and selection of material for walls and roof are to make sure when the days heat for night-time use can sustain from the inside the house and comfortable temperature without the use of heating or ventilation systems.2. Literature Review Yemen is the part of the Arab country where is located on the southwestern of the Arabian Peninsula in an area the Romans called "Arabia Felix" because of its abundant richness along with the surrounding desert. It‟s also known as Arab Peninsular because is located south part of Middle East. At another part, at the central highland the capital of the Yemen Arab Republic and one of the oldest cities in the world is called Sanaa. This city is surrounding by elevated wall to protect the city from the enemies attack. It is also show the character of traditional Arab cities and the unique style from Southern Arabia. The most famous about that city is tower house, which is appearing above to narrow and winding streets of the old city. The Yemeni traditional tower houses impress to the visitor with their height view. A lot of houses are more than five stories height and the largest commonly having seven, eight or even nine stories. A view of the city from a distance, with many hundreds of these houses towering above the city walls, makes an unforgettable impression. Most of the tower houses were arid with close related family. They were normally built for one space family; old houses may have two or even three closely related families living in them.
2012 International Conference on Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Built Environment (ICITSBE 2012) 16-17 April 2012, Perak, MALAYSIA. Ref No.: HC-082.1 House Design Definition According to the Arabic dictionary Al-Munjid (Al-Balabki, 1987), verify that a house (Al-Sakan) means a place, “…to settle down, relax, become calm, calm down, reside in a place, and house unit." In Oxford Dictionary (Allen, 1987), a house is defined as “…a building for human habitation.” It covers the “…dwelling of houses as a provision of shelter or lodging.‟ The United Nations (United Nations, 1977) defines a house not only as a shelter but also as a mean of the creation of communities. House design means the quality of the house layout in terms of the organization and the allocation of living space areas relative to the key functions that a household requires which is space planning and function. Such a layout always sets to measure the quality of a house. It has been suggested by Caudill (1978) that an adequate layout always takes care of both the current and the future needs; and such needs may be evaluated on the basis of quality rather than the cost, size and building that make up the physical environment that the residents interact with. Therefore, the living space in house design that the people creates should meet a kind of needs, and the design capability calls for the ability of the designer to put all the needed elements within a defined and cleared interaction.2.2 Types of the Activities in the Traditional Tower House. Figure 1: The types of the activities inside the traditional tower house. According to Figure 1, it shows the activities in Yemen traditional tower house which there are three parts of the activities of religious, cultural and social. To sustain the elements of Yemen traditional houses, the owners and architects role is important to maintain the design characteristics and elements. All the activities in Yemen in the house are very important to sustain tradition in their respective roles. Figure 2: The activities for each level inside the tower house. Source: Ronlad Lewcock (1986) According to Figure 2, it shows the activities for each level in the Yemen traditional tower house. Based on the figure, the ground level was located for stable and wood store. The Yemen ancient people usually kept their animals, goods, vegetables, fruits, wheat grains and wood this level. Some goods they also kept on the next level. The next floor, they are has rooms for reception, Diwan, kitchen and personal room include bathrooms in each room. At the sixth level, there are has open roof. Usually they will chew „qat‟ and take rest. The upper level is called „maffraj‟ for rest area, meeting friends and event such as wedding ceremony.
2012 International Conference on Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Built Environment (ICITSBE 2012) 16-17 April 2012, Perak, MALAYSIA. Ref No.: HC-083. Methodology 1. The research method includes all the stages of work that will make the research carry on efficiently, and in perseverance way and that are used to find out the data collection. 2. Data collection is divided into two methods. The first method is the secondary data which is used to find out the literature review from the books, journals and articles from websites, magazines or local newspaper. 3. The second method is the primary data will be obtained from a structured interview with the experts, observation, measurements and close ended questionnaires to get a sufficient data that is related to the topic.4. Result and Analysis Results and data analysis, has shown that retention of elements in the traditional house design is a key factor of concern in sustaining of perfection and comfort in the room. There are various factors to be considered in determining the comfort and function space. Among others the decorations in the room, such as opening windows and diwan, size and function space, arrangement of indoor spaces, and thermal comfort. The traditional tower houses and urban design of Sana‟a followed certain conventions that were well known and practiced by all its inhabitants. These conventions are history-long experiences that have been developed throughout the life of the city to satisfy the human socio-cultural and comfortable environment needs to respond to the requirements of design elements and environment. The people‟s surviving by these conventions resulted in a consistent architectural language that gave a very unique identity to Sana‟a architecture and conserved it for long time. Sana‟a traditional tower houses are bounded by beautiful views of green garden and skyline of the decorated towers, façade and minarets, all with a background of ranges of mountains and mosques.5. Conclusion The traditional tower house of Yemen has always been known for its strong character remarkable identity, deep cultural meaning, and ecological harmony. The objectives were achieved by obtaining of primary and secondary data of documentations, primary data through structured interviews with experts in this house, also by the use of questionnaires that were distributed to a random sampling within the old city of Sana‟a; also observation process was so useful to obtain the data required. In the conclusion, all of the objectives were fulfilled in a sufficient circumstances; the result discovered proved that to sustain the natural element and design in the traditional Yemen tower houses is effective to achieve the comfortable and functions for the house occupants.AcknowledgementI am very thankful to whose encouragement, guidance and support from the initial to the final level to develop anunderstanding of the topic. I would like to acknowledge the contributions of the Abu Luhum families, LibraryCenter for Architectural Training and Studies (CATS) peoples and individuals who involved helping to finishthis research. I also would like to thank my beloved family for their patience and support all the way long maygod bless u all. Finally, I send my regards and blessings for those who supported me in during the completion ofthe research.
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