Earth Architecture | Mud, Stone & Shale Conference

THE UNIVERSITY OF HADRAMUT FOR SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY | MUKALLA & DA‘WAN MUD BRICK ARCHITECTURE FOUNDATION Are pleased to announce the Second Conference on Mud Brick Architecture to be held in Hadramut in 2011 under the title: Earth Architecture | Mud, Stone & Shale

The conference will provide a platform to discuss and exchange information amongst international architects, academics, participants and foundations on the condition of past and future cities with innovative and creative projects in construction and design including a wide spectrum from Chile to India. This intends to create an important link and exchange between North and South, east and west, where the technology architectural language and environment of earth architecture requires to be more seriously and effectively implemented. The fact that it is being held in the heart of the kingdom of mud brick architecture, Valley of Hadramut, serves a significant case in point.

Venue: Say’un, Wadi Hadramut | Republic of Yemen

Dates: 28 February – 4 March 2011

Official Language English & Arabic for presentation- (Papers in French will be accepted for publication in the Conference proceedings).

Conference Themes:

1. Architectural Rehabilitation and Development
2. Modern & Contemporary Buildings: Innovation, Construction and Design (Case Studies and Projects)
3. Yemeni Cities & Vernacular Architecture at Risk: Dilapidation, Destruction & Flood Damage
4. Future Use of Restored Residential Clusters & Heritage Landmarks
5. Environmental Issues: Sustainable Planning Methods & Guidelines

Attending international participants include leading specialists, academics and architects from India, Chile, Portugal, Italy, UK, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt and France. Queries please contact Salma Samar Damluji at:

The Architecture of Yemen

The result of nearly two decades of research, The Architecture of Yemen: From Yafi to Hadramut the first book to offer an in-depth investigation into the characteristic architecture of the southern and eastern towns of Yemen, which until the early 1990s were extremely difficult of access. The author’s first-hand research provides detailed insights into building design, techniques and methods that, though rich in tradition and accomplishment, are little known outside the region.

Refreshingly, the book moves out of the more familiar major cities into the hinterlands and explores areas that could be said to be the last strongholds of vernacular Arab architecture. The author, Salma Samar Damluji, was allowed to visit locations and sites previously closed or unfamiliar to architects and foreigners. As a result of this privileged access, the text and images combine to convey unique insights and viewpoints: those of the master builders and house owners who actually create and inhabit the buildings. In addition to approximately 700 colour images and architectural drawings, a unique glossary of over 900 terms complements the text.

The Tarim Conservation Project

The Tarim Conservation Project website documents the preservation of historic palaces of the Hadhramaut Valley in Tarim, Yemen. The principal investigators are art historian/archaeologist Dr. Selma Al-Radi, co-director of the ‘Amiriya Restoration Project in Rada’, Yemen, and architect/architectural conserator Pamela Jerome, an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) and a senior associate with Wank Adams Slavin Associates, a New York architecture and engineering firm. The trainees will be students from the historic preservation program of the GSAPP, along with Museum of the Hadhramaut personnel, and architecture students from the University of Mukallah. The significance of the Tarimi palaces and the fact that most of them are undocumented led us to propose their listing on the World Monuments Fund 100 Most Endangered Sites list for 2000-01. We have just received word that the site has been selected for re-listing on the 100 Most Endangered Sites list for 2002-03. Be sure to check out the visual resources page.

Al-Abbas Mosque


Al-Abbas Mosque is a testimony to the living traditions and architectural achievements of one of the world’s earliest civilizations. Built over 800 years ago, the mosque is situated on the remains of a pre-Islamic shrine or temple on a site considered sacred since ancient times. Its cubic form also has ancient precedents, including the Kaaba in Mecca. The local population continues to revere the mosque and the site today still holds special significance for them. The Al-Abbas Mosque restoration project is a recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Ninth Award Cycle, 2002 – 2004.

The Valley of Mud-Brick Architecture


The Valley of Mud-Brick Architecture by Salma Samar Damluji is a scholarly book concentrating on the architecture and town planning of two towns in the Hadhramawt, Shibam and Tarim, Yemen. It looks at the very ancient origins of the south Arabian mud built architecture, its suitability for the climate, its adaptability, and its relative virtues compared with imported Western practices and how it can continue to develop as an indigenous Arabian art or science. It is clearly an exciting study to any such as Dr. Damluji, who had worked with and is clearly an admirer of Hassan Fathy, the great exponent of traditional mud brick architecture in Cairo. Read a review.