Some Lessons from the Holy Qur’an on Housing

Dr. Spahic Omer



In this paper, I shall discuss some major aspects of housing which the Holy Qur’an, the primary source of Islam, deals with, directly or indirectly. Those references are deemed very crucial as they constitute part of Allah’s revelation to man, as well as because they were aimed at contributing to the cleansing of the nascent Islamic society from all the erroneous beliefs and practices that had resulted from people’s earlier rejection of truth and its ways, replacing them with the new ones instead, which were inspired and guided by Allah’s direct intervention, i.e., revelation.

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Some Lessons From Prophet Muhammad In Architecture

The Case Of His Mosque In Madinah

 Dr. Spahic Omer


This paper discusses some lessons in architecture that can be gleaned using the Prophet’s Mosque in Madīnah as a case study. The paper deals with the following main themes: the meaning and significance of Islamic architecture; function–form relationship; respect for the environment; cleanliness; comprehensive excellence; promoting just social interactions; safety; and the relationship between the indigenous and foreign influences in the spheres of Islamic architecture. Every theme discussed signifies a permanent feature of Islamic architecture which derives its strength and merit from the Prophet’s experiences. Hence, a close analogy is always drawn in the paper between those architectural features and the Prophet. 

 Keywords: Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)[1], Madinah, the Prophet’s mosque, Islamic Architectur


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The First Built Environment Development Symposium

Real Estate and Housing sustainability Organized by College of Architecture and Planning, University of Dammam , Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The First Built Environment Development Symposium: Real Estate Development and Housing Sustainability aims to reach future sustainable real estate and housing development which maintains the attained achievements while leading the physical development of the country in a scientific and practical manner away from individual interpretations and arbitrary decisions and resolve the problem of high cost real estate.  The Symposium will take place on  17-19 Zul Qaedah 1431 corresponding to 25-27 October 2010. The events will run in two places: in the College of Architecture and Planning and in Dammam Chamber of Commerce building. For more information see:

the 4th International Conference on Built Environment in Developing Countries

The School of Housing Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia will organise the 4th International Conference on Built Environment in Developing Countries on 1-2 December 2010.  The 4th ICBEDC 2010 aims to cover a variety of topics related to built environment in developing countries. Presenters and participants are advised to submit their abstract before June 30, 2010 via email: or fax: +604-6564067. For further information, please email to and refer to conference’s website:

Taxidermy Vs Urban Dynamics

THE Paradox OF Preservation In Urban & Architectural  Heritage

Dr. Mustapha Ben-Hamouche

Urban and architectural heritage in the Islamic world is gradually becoming an object of preservation policies due to the ever increasing cultural awareness. Old buildings and cities are believed to be the fortress of culture that helps societies preserve their identities and face the eradicating globalization. However, preservation policies, mostly based on the intervention of the State, protective measures and the freezing of building against any change and alterations, are  often in contradiction  with the urban dynamics and incremental process that generated such  cities and buildings. Considering  the  emptiness of  these cities and buildings from their original content,  such policies become, in a sense,  like an action of  taxidermy that “reproduces a life-like three-dimensional representation of a dead  animal for permanent display”.

Prof. N. John Habraken

N. John Habraken, a Dutch citizen, was born in Bandung, Indonesia in 1928. Went to primary school in Surabya and Jakarta. Secondary school interrupted for three years by war events.

Received his architectural training at Delft Technical University, the Netherlands. 1948-1955

Served in the Royal Dutch Air-force as a deskbound noncom. officer. 1955-57

Author of ‘Supports, an Alternative to Mass Housing’ which was first published in 1962, ( English edition 1972, re-issued in 1999) in which he proposed the separation of ‘support’ or base building from ‘infill’ or interior fit-out in residential construction and design.

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Architectural Design as a Place-Making Process

Mustapha Ben-Hamouche

Teaching Architecture; CAAD and the lasting Modernism!

Despite the fall of modernism and the rise of many post modern movements that praise cultural context such as vernacularism, neo-traditionalism and regionalism architectural education is still maintaining a lot of the modern traditions especially in architectural education (Ozkan S. 2005, Frampton K.1986, Steel J. 1997).

One major deficiency of modern architecture is its failure to respond to local considerations and context, and the belief of its predecessors in the universal location-less solutions. Factors such as climate, geographic conditions, and culture and tradition ways of living were often neglected.

In the Arab Gulf countries the abundance of financial resources and the booming but imported IT made of  the countries large laboratories of unusual forms and bizarre projects that praise “creativity” and disregard the local circumstances[i].



Projects were mostly iconic and were developed at an abstract world that is in the minds of architect and in the design workshop. They are then parachuted on site with a few modifications. Often sites are rather modified or remodeled to accommodate the idea of the architect.

Projects are often made to please the ego of the designers, glorify their names or that of the political leaders. CAAD in this perspective seems to be the most efficient graphical as well as design tool in supporting the wave of iconic projects trend, and sorting out the desired miraculous projects. Strangeness is thus become a sign of creativity and success.


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Djamel Boussaa Profile

Djamel Boussaa


Name: Djamel Boussaa

Graduation: July 2008

Interests/ Specialization: Architectural Design, Urban & Architectural Conservation, Islamic architecture, Traditional Architecture.


·          Complete Design and Supervision of an extension project for A great mosque in Algiers.

·          Preparation of working drawings for 02 Refurbishment projects In the North of London, Priory Green Estate & Rotherfield Court, (Roof details for lift motor rooms and stair heads as well as rainwater outlets, And gargoyles needed to be specified and detailed.

·          Collaborating in a large scale project in Saudi-Arabia, The Mena Complex, in, management and working drawings for walls, parapets and floors.


Courses & Teaching Material:


·       Architectural Design Studio 2, ARCH 311.

·       Islamic Architecture in the Arab World, Arch 460.

·       Senior Project 1, ARCH 400.

·       Senior Project 2, ARCH 401.

·       Qatari Architecture and Contemporary Practices, ARCH 461.

·       Architectural Design 3 (ARCG 310); Designing a Marina Club

·       Architectural Design 4 (ARCG 320); Designing a Cultural Center

·       Architectural Design 6 (ARCG 420); Designing a Five Stars Hotel

·       Architectural Design 6 (ARCG 420); Designing a Specialized Children’s Hospital

·       Graduation Project 1 (ARCG 511); Program Stage

·       Graduation Project 2 (ARCG 520); Design Stage

·       Architectural Construction 2 (ARCG 223)

·       Architectural Construction 3 (ARCG 313)

·       Architectural Graphics 1 (ARCG 111)

·       Architectural Graphics 2 (ARCG 121)

·       Basic Design 1 (ARCG 110)

·       Basic Design 2 (ARCG 120)

·       Materials and Construction Methods I (INTD 222)

·       Materials and Construction Methods II (INTD 312)

·       History of Islamic Interiors (INTD 311)


Students Material:



Djamel Boussaa, “Towards an Inter-Emirate Urban Conservation Strategy in the United Arab Emirates“, RICS Foundation, Our Common Sense Journal, London, April 2002.


Hadjri, K., & Boussaa, D., (2007). Architectural and Urban Conservation in the United Arab Emirates.

Open House International, 32(3), 16-26.



Books: (Book Chapter).

G. Moser, E. Pol, Y. Bernard, M. Bonnes, J. Corraliza & V. Giuliani, (editors),  People Places and Sustainability, Hogrefe & Huber Publishers, Germany, 2003, PP: 51-60.


          Articles of Conferences:

Paper  presented For the Conference on                                                                                            3-6 January 2010

Technology and Sustainability in the Built Environment;

College of Architecture and Planning, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia.

Urban Conservation and Sustainability;                                                                                               

Cases from Historic Cities in the Gulf and North Africa.


Paper  presented at the 1st Engineering Scientific Research Forum;                                                   18th May 2009

University of Bahrain, Department of Civil Engineering & Architecture.

Paper: Urban conservation in the Gulf: Challenges and Opportunities.


Paper presented and published in the proceedings                                                                         03-06 Nov 2008

at the CSAAR 08 conference, University of Petra, Amman, Jordan,

“Responsibilities and Opportunities in Architectural Conservation: Theory,

Education, and Practice”

Paper: THE CASBAH OF ALGIERS, Heritage Tourism,

Economic Development and Sustainability.


Paper  presented For the IFIAD 2008 International Forum on                                                        08-10 Apr 2008    

Islamic Architecture and Design, Sharjah, UAE,

Paper: Our Islamic Urban Heritage: Blight or Blessing?


Paper presented at the Urban Development and Planning Seminar,                                                 07-09 Jan 2008

Kingdom of Bahrain, Northern Area Municipality,

Paper: Qala’t al-Bahrain: Conservation and Development of a World Heritage Site


          Public Lectures & TV Programs

 Press Articles:


Box of suggestions:

Personal Contact:

Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, College of Engineering, Qatar University 2713, Doha, Qatar.  Tel (office):    00 974 493 5932, Tel (mobile):  00 974 363 2925, Fax:   00 974 485 1781,




Dr Rabah Saoud

Having read an M’phil in Conservation of Muslim Historic Buildings and Cities from the Civic Design of Liverpool University, Dr. Rabah Saoud went on to complete a PhD on the Morphology of Muslim Cities at the University of Manchester, where he also lectured on urban conservation and continue to hold the post of research fellow.

He joined the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC) in 1999 where he was able to expand the scope of his research into the history of Muslim Architecture and Civilisation and its scientific and technological contributions. His research and contributions are much revered in the academic community.

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