Vernacular architecture in Lebanon and Syria

The subject of the project is the additions and interventions made to vernacular domestic architecture in Mount Lebanon during the twentieth century. In other words, it is about how buildings that were built without codified knowledge have been transformed since the early industrial until the modern contemporary period (late 20th century), and how they have been altered – frequently over many phases – to fit the lives of their users.

This work combines a narrative style with a scientific approach and aims to adopt an alternative methodology to the mainly typological approach that has been used in studying vernacular architecture in Mount Lebanon so far. The project is not about establishing the typologies of architectural models, but about showing where the gaps are in the typological approach by viewing the houses from different perspectives and with complementary methodologies borrowed and adapted from geography, sociology and studies on material culture. The main motivation behind this work being that one has to understand the vernacular traditional architecture in order to preserve it as heritag.