Architecture (Architectural evolution of houses in Douma)


Houses are a reflection of the moral and intellectual dimensions of man. If Douma's houses and architecture are a reflection on its inhabitants' moral and intellectual dimensions then Doumanians have much to celebrate. In general, we can find in Douma three types of houses - the peasant house with a rectangular plan, the liwam style house, and the gallery style house.


The Peasant House (Rectangular Plan):

This style of houses is thought to be the first inheritance of the Phoenician culture at the end of the IV millennium.

Seven wooden beams support the roof with the central beam called "The Pillar of the Wisdom". This style of houses was passed down through the course of the centuries. The peripheral walls are made of stone bearing a thickness of about 80 cm. These thick stone walls serve as natural means of climate control. They keep the heat inside in winter and provide a pleasant cool in summer. The roof also acts as a heat insulator. The roof consists of a hard-packed surface, which bears a thickness of about 40 to 50 cm. The roof consists of a layer of compressed earth resting on a bed of foliage, supported by stone pillars.

In its evolution, the peasant house with rectangular plan utilized a system of arches instead of the stone pillars to support the roof.


The Liwam:

The peasant house evolved into the Liwam.

The Liwam consists of two rooms on opposite sides of the rectangular layout house that opens up into a central living space.

A stone arch forms the entrance to the central living space.

The principle of the Liwam, which is of Persian origin, was introduced in Lebanon around the VIII-the century, in the time of the Abbassieen.


The Gallery:

The gallery style house is the most prevalent and most appealing.

The interior of the gallery style house is characterized by a central passage or corridor that leads into several rooms adjacent to one another.

This gallery style of house lent itself very well to commercial activity.

The first floor of these houses was usually dedicated to commercial activities while the second floor served as the living space.



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