"Transformation of the Compact Fabric in Palestine, Learning from Mat Building"
Publication Type
Conference Paper

Although the traditional compact fabric is still considered as a comprehensive solution for socio-cultural, economic and climatic conditions in Palestine, it was never designed in a contemporary way. One of the most important obstacles of designing a contemporary compact fabric is the change of the family structure, which makes traditional typologies unsuitable for the contemporary nuclear families. These typologies are based on large houses with private courtyards. Searching in the literature revealed that Tem 10 in the second half of the last century aimed to recover the compact fabric of the Arabic cities in a contemporary way. This approach was later known as “Mat Building”. They developed the idea of outdoor spaces to become owned by no one. Therefore, the main objective of this paper is to examine the potential of this idea in the Palestinian context. To do so, a survey of both traditional and contemporary housing was conducted in Nablus city, acknowledged as one of the biggest and most important cities in Palestine. The main conclusion of the survey sustains the viability of this idea in Palestine. Nowadays, and after several decades of Mat Buildings revival, the process of learning from Arabic cities was re-examined, and Mat Buildings principles could be translated in housing design in Palestine. Although this approach is universal, it can be locally adapted by establishing a local version of mats. Therefore, based on the previous findings, this paper seeks to go further into proposing a conceptual frame for contemporary compact fabric in Palestine.

Conference Title
ARCHDESIGN'15, Istanbul- Turkey
Conference Country
Conference Date
July 6, 2015 - July 8, 2015
Conference Sponsor
ARCHDESIGN'15, Istanbul- Turkey