Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Archnet-IJAR, Special Issue on Traditional Spas / Hammams in the Mediterranean: Rediscovering a Forgotten Heritage

Special Issue Announcement

Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research
Academic Peer Reviewed/Double Refereed Journal published on the World Wide Web three times a year

http:// archnet.org/gws/IJAR/

Traditional Spas / Hammams in the Mediterranean:
Rediscovering a Forgotten Heritage

A Special Issue- November 2008
Guest Editor Dr. Magda Sibley
School of Architecture - The University of Liverpool- UK

Based on a selection of papers presented at the International Conference to be held in Damascus under the title

The Traditional Hammam, a Gift from the Past for the Future
Damascus, Syria, July 13 – 16, 2008

Organised by the IFPO Institut Fran├žais du Proche-Orient and OIKODROM - The Vienna Institute for Urban Sustainability

This conference is the final dissemination meeting of the multi-disciplinary research consortium (12 institutions from both Europe and the Mediterranean countries) that has been working together for the last three yeas (since September 2005) on the HAMMAM project. The project was initiated and scientifically co-ordinated by Oikodrom, the Vienna Institute for Urban Sustainability; supported and financed by the European Commission’s 6th Framework Program Specific Targeted Research Projects Contract No.: 517704 under the name:

HAMMAM, Aspects and Multidisciplinary Methods of Analysis for the Mediterranean Region

The Islamic bath house Hammam is a central place of cultural heritage in the Mediterranean cities. Traditionally, the Hammam is a place of complex urban and societal relations with various functions: a support for health care and hygiene, a meeting place for merchants, one of the rare meeting places for women in the Islamic context, a place for relaxation and leisure, a place for confidential political discussions and a place for artistic and ceremonial activities. The Hammam also forms an important heritage building with a rich architecture and valuable lessons in environmental design. However, it has been neglected for a long time as studies on this building type have been rare and very few examples of restored and re-used historic Hammams exist today. In most Mediterranean cities, these historic buildings are on the way of disappearing, as many of them have been either demolished or totally ignored and forgotten. With the disappearance of them, Islamic cities are about to loose a major feature of their cultural heritage with detrimental consequences on the local urban, societal and architectural qualities.

Field work has been carried out over the last two years on seven case study hammams in six different Mediterranean cities (Cairo, Damascus, Fez, Constantine, Ankara and Gaza). Multi-disciplinary teams in collaboration with local stakeholders have worked together in the location of each case study building in order to increase national and international awareness about the importance of this heritage building and develop future scenarios for its the safeguard and its sustainable re-use.

Underlying the Hammams/ Traditional Spas Theme, the papers in this special issue of Archnet-IJAR will focus on the following topics

• Architectural typologies and urban morphologies across the Mediterranean Region
• Vernacular architecture and construction and challenges for conservation and restoration
• Thermal performance and Lessons of Environmental Sustainability
• Socio-culture and the Intangible Heritage
• Economy and Management
• Future scenarios for the sustainable re-use of historic Hammam buildings

Other topics will also be considered.

Authors outside the HAMMAM consortium are also invited to submit papers for this special issue. Please e-mail an abstract to Dr Magda Sibley- msibley@liv.ac.uk no later than 30th of June 2008. Deadlines for receiving full papers to be refereed and considered for publication in Archnet-IJAR, Vol 2, Issue 3, November 2008 is September 1, 2008

Archnet-IJAR is published and archived by ARCHNET, the most comprehensive online community for architects, planners, urban designers, interior designers, landscape architects, and scholars working in these fields, developed at the MIT School of Architecture and Planning in close cooperation with, and with the full support of The Aga Khan Trust for Culture, an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network.

...Chief Editor: Ashraf Salama, Advisory Board: Attilio Petruccioli; Besim Hakim; Hashim Sarkis; Henry Sanoff; Jamel Akbar; Mohamad Al-Asad; Michael Crosbie; Nasser Rabbat; Nicholas Wilkinson; Nikos Salingaros; Peter Rowe; Suha Ozkan; William Mitchell, Editorial-Scientific Board: Akhtar Chauhan; Aleya Abel-Hadi; Ali Cengizkan; Amer Moustafa; Anne Beamish; Budi Sukada; Dalila Al-Kerdani; Donatella Mazzoleni; Eman El-Nachar; Fuad Mallick; Hulya Turgut; Ihab Elzeyadi; M. Alaa Mandour; Malika Bose; Magda Sibley; Mashary Al-Naim; Peter Kellett; Rabee Reffat; Yasser El-Shehstawy; Yasser Mahgoub.
Architecture-Urbanism is dedicated to a) those who are interested in creating livable and sustainable environments and buildings that meet socio-cultural and socio-behavioral needs of people, environments that are responsive to historical, traditional and physical constraints, b) to those who are interested in finding panacea for the ills of our globalized world, and c) to those who are interested in regaining what cultures and societies have lost by the acts of architects. ____________________________________________________________________________