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The vernacular mosques of Al-Khabra in Saudi Arabia: Investigating urban architectural and social dimensions

Alghafis, Mohammed and Sibley, Magda ORCID: 2023. The vernacular mosques of Al-Khabra in Saudi Arabia: Investigating urban architectural and social dimensions. Journal of Engineering Research , pp. 1-15. 10.36909/jer.ICMA.20211

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This paper presents for the first time the vernacular architecture, history, and architectural typology of the two mosques in Al-Khabra Heritage Settlement in Al-Qassim region in central Saudi Arabia. It analyses the urban role of mosques and associated social and cultural practices in terms of behavioural aspects not traditionally considered in terms of the role of such structures, particularly as a thermal comfort refuge during extreme heat. A sample of eight previous residents from the older generation who lived in the settlement before its population moved out in 1981 participated in semi-structured interviewed in the summer of 2020, to collect valuable data about their experiences and memories of spatial practices of the two mosques. The findings revealed that the older generation had different comfort expectations than their descendants, and the recording of their comfort perceptions in this study is important. This paper addresses the gap about investigating residents’ perceptions, behaviours, and cultural meanings of mosque spaces, and investigates the particular characteristics of mosque architecture in Al-Khabra, in comparison with those of other mud vernacular settlements in the same region such as Al-Tannomah, Al-Diriyh and Ushaiger. The findings reveal that people moved around the mosque to find suitable indoor environments in response to temperatures, exhibiting adaptive strategies. Furthermore, mosques served several expansive local needs, including social, cultural and environmental functions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 June 2023
Date of Acceptance: 30 January 2023
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2023 16:30

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