Historical houses of Nadjaf Physical knowledge and analysis (To revitalization of historical fabric )



Nadjaf city is located in the southern part of Iraq that has warm and mid-humid climate. The temperature usually rises up to 60 centigrade in hot months. It has a significant effect on the local inhabitant's lifestyle that is appeared on the house designing. It is necessary to recognize socio-physical history of Najdaf ancient context in order that the life story of historical houses in Nadjaf is perceived. Circular ancient context of Nadjaf is one kilometre in diameter around an Imam -Ali shrine densely that recognized as the capital of Shiite world for more than 1000 years. Nadjaf theological school (Howz?h) was extended to the whole city, despite of the other Shiite religious cities of the world. On the other hand, historical city of Nadjaf had been designed gradually for the training, living and debate between religious students or pilgrims. As mentioned above, two major factors that affected Nadjaf historical architecture are climatic restrictions and particular lifestyle of residents who most of them were religious students in historical center of town. At recent decades, political conflict of Iraq government with Shiite belief and the weakening of Nadjaf as a center of of Shiite world causes the level of activity in theological school decreased gradually. Nevertheless, today theological schools thrive rapidly due to Shiite freedom once more in Iraq. Thus, the hope of deserted valuable houses preservation is revived. It is an important point that hasty prosperity without deep consideration in recent conditions of deserted valuable houses leads to demolition and reconstruction. Preservation of these houses is just possible with exact perceiving in historical houses of Nadjaf, and discovering architect’s intelligent solutions to human needs and converting climate limitations to opportunities otherwise uncontrolled economical development would abolish these vulnerable structures. Some valuable houses of historical context are studied in this article that resulting in discovering the residential architecture pattern of Nadjaf. 1. Basements, the writer emphasizes that through observing more than 70 houses in historical context of Nadjaf, a house without 1, 2 or 3 levels basements are not seen. 2. M?shr?beey?h, some wooden windows with pieces of colorful glasses that stick out up to 1 meter from elevation. 3. High rising iw?ns (up to 8 meters in height), with 2 wooden columns, and a three dimensional puzzle capitals. 4. Wooden facades around iw?n (non-conductor of heat). 5. Houses with small area, houses have the area between 20 up to 500 square meters. Due to high economic values of lands around shrine, the area of houses is small and courts with little squared plan are utilized. It appears that religious students and pilgrims would return to Nadjaf from whole Shiite world and providing appropriate places for occupancy is essential. Therefore the valuable hidden opportunities of historical houses would be taken, if they are utilized as residential places for religious students. Therefore by preserving historical houses as religious student homes, these noteworthy heritages would be protected, on the other hand human would be settled in worthy architectures thus people would recognize their values.