Domestic architecture and the city identiy: the historic city of Homs and its traditional courtyard houses as a case study

Najla Mansour, Tarek Teba, Alessandro Melis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Architecture manifests invaluable knowledge of people life, culture and achievements. Domestic architecture, in particular, is influenced and shaped by cultural and social aspects of local people as well as by different historical and cultural events occurred during the history of the urban environment, the city. Therefore, this paper aims to explore how the traditional domestic architecture of the historic City of Homs in Syria was shaped and how it characterizes the historic City of Homs differently from other counterpart cities in Syria. The historic City of Homs is located in a very strategic location in the middle of Syria connecting different parts of the country. The city was originally found 280 BC and became a very important Greek and Roman settlement. The domestic architecture of the city is dominated by the use of courtyard houses typology as well as the basaltic stone as a building material. Therefore, this paper will focus on the development of the domestic courtyard houses in the city and how this development was shaped by the influence of the Ottoman Empire, French mandate and local social and cultural aspects. Also, the impact that these factors have on the city identity will be investigated. Historic exploration and a detailed analysis of seven courtyard houses from a different period in the city will inform this discussion about the city image and identity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCities' Identity Through Architecture and Arts
EditorsY. Mahgoub, N. Cavalagli, A. Versaci, H. Bougdah, M. Serra-Permanyer
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-14869-0
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-14868-3
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2021

Publication series

NameAdvances in Science, Technology & Innovation: IEREK Interdisciplinary Series for Sustainable Development
ISSN (Print)2522-8714


  • Courtyard Houses
  • city identity
  • Middle Eastern Architecture
  • Homs, Syria
  • Traditional Houses


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