Conceptualise Strategy and Guidelines for the Preservation of Housing in Old Aleppo City Based on Renewable Energies

Doktorandin: Christine Kousa, M. Arch.

kooperative Promotion an der Faculty of Design Sciences, University of Antwerp, Betreut durch Prof. Dr.-Ing. Uta Pottgiesser

Abstract.The Syrian Civil War destroyed most of the historical core of Aleppo; the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world that is protected by UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The housing situation deteriorated dramatically by increase of population migration out of the old neighborhoods before, during and after this war. Nevertheless, its traditional architectural typologies have the good ecological footprint ever due to their longevity and passive design strategies. Thus that could play a crucial role in the future reconstruction process to reduce the environmental impact and maximize the energy efficiency in buildings and historic residential areas. The thesis will analyse, describe and evaluate the local character and state of housing estates in Old Aleppo City before and after the Syrian Civil War (e.g. context typology, infrastructure, energy consumption, destruction and the subsequent social and physical fragmentation, etc.)that will face the reconstruction process after the civil-war.In this context the traditional courtyard housing in Old Aleppo City is considered an authentic housing in harmony with all the components of social life, as well as with the climate of the city- the arid continental climate with hot summers. With these characteristics, the traditional residential architecture is considered as a good mirror of climate-friendly construction in Syria. Thus this research will investigate, on the one hand, on relations between local materials, building techniques, climate conditions and the possibilities of using renewable energies. On the other hand, it will develop criteria of intervention (conservation, restoration, enhancement and eventual reconstruction) on this damaged residential architecture to bring out housing in World Heritage Site into Old Aleppo City. As such, this thesis aims to articulate a strategy and guidelines for design solutions for intervention in the historical residential parts of Aleppo based on locality, the authenticity of traditional architectural typologies, and combining them with the ideals of energy efficiency.