Architectural Rehabilitation of Traditional Houses in the District of: Bab Al-Seef

  • Marwa Abdel Sattar Abdel Jabbar
  • Kadhim Faris Dhumad
Keywords: Architectural Rehabilitation, Traditional Houses, Functional Characteristics, Environmental Characteristics, Physical Characteristics


The urban heritage fabric of Baghdad, especially its historical center, has great cultural and
material importance. However, there is no serious approach to regenerative policies or development
strategies for these areas, especially the residential urban fabric and traditional houses, which represent the
greater part of the urban heritage. In addition, the owners and users of these houses have not developed a
mature vision about the rationale and possibility of rehabilitating their homes, especially in light of the
economic and social determinants, and the weak financing and technical capabilities. From here emerged
the research problem, which states: The lack of knowledge of the mechanisms and methods of architectural
rehabilitation of traditional houses, to preserve and ensure its functional and urban durability, especially by
its owners or users. The main objective of the research was determined: to develop a theoretical framework
for a better understanding by the owners and residents of traditional housing, for the purpose of rehabilitating
their houses by efforts and self-capabilities, with support and technical advice from the relevant planning
authorities and local governments. In order to solve the research problem and achieve its goal, the hypothesis
was put forward which states: Architectural rehabilitation of traditional houses is achieved, in light of a
comprehensive treatment of the defects and deficiencies in the three architectural characteristics of the
houses, functional, environmental and urban. By following the analytical descriptive approach, a theoretical
framework was constructed in light of the analysis of the components and elements of the traditional
Baghdadi houses, and its characteristics that form its integrated architectural personality, down to a standard
set of vocabulary for rehabilitation that represent the theoretical indicators of the research. These indicators
were applied to rehabilitate a group of traditional houses (five houses were selected for analysis and one of
them was selected to apply the rehabilitation) in the Bab Al-Seef heritage district in the Baghdad-Al-Karkh
historical center, after studying the reality of the district and its houses and diagnosing its deficiencies. It
emerged from the application of rehabilitation indicators that most of the deficiencies in the physical side
can be remedied. As for the functional side, it is difficult to adjust the functional spaces due to the limited
space and the mainly high usage density. As for the environmental aspect, it appeared that it is difficult to
limit itself to natural (passive) treatments and there is a need to employ mechanical and arteficial treatments
in an integrated manner with natural treatments.

How to Cite
Abdel Jabbar, M., & Dhumad, K. (2021). Architectural Rehabilitation of Traditional Houses in the District of: Bab Al-Seef. Association of Arab Universities Journal of Engineering Sciences, 28(1), 136-157.