The project team conducted field observation and direct survey on the Qaqish house and laser scanning to produce BIM (Building Information Modelling) objects, by identifying relevant architectural elements inside and outside the house, including doors, windows, arches, stairs, façade decorative features.
Explore the 3D Virtual Tour of Qaqish House
Watch the short virtual tour video of Qaqish House
The City of As-Salt
As-Salt is a historic city in Jordan, located 28 km west of Amman and approximately 50km north-east of Jerusalem and 240km south of Damascus, situated within the region of Al-Balqa, between the Jordan Valley and the Eastern Desert. The city of Salt is considered a unique city in Jordan, and probably in the whole region. Historically, As-Salt was one of the only areas to maintain its city status after the Ottoman conquest in the 16th Century benefitting from its position on the Syrian pilgrimage route to Mecca and on the road leading to the cities of Palestine.
As-Salt is the most important city in the country between the beg of 18th and 19th and 20th Century. I tell you why…because of its location on the road between Mecca and Palestine, and every Christian and Muslims who goes to Mecca and Bethlehem and Jordan river must pass through the city. In 1860 the city was very peaceful which is why people from all over came to trade and that is how very special architecture for the city came about.Local As-Salt Municipality Government Officer
Historically, As-Salt was one of the only areas to maintain its city status after the Ottoman conquest in the 16th Century benefitting from its position on the Syrian pilgrimage route to Mecca and on the road leading to the cities of Palestine. The revival of As-Salt started in 1866 when the governor of Damascus re-established order which led to a new population moving to the city. This included merchants from the west bank of Jordan River aiming to extend their trading base across Jordan. The trade importance of the city began to decline when the capital was transitioned to Amman in 1921. The trade links of Al As-Salt were further disrupted in 1948 and 1967 (the years of the hard Arab-Israeli conflict). The city’s geographical position has attracted the migration of families from Arab and Islamic neighbouring countries.
The unique atmosphere of Al-Salt heritage city is mainly due to its late XIX century residential buildings. Historic houses were built two or three floors, elegantly decorated with columns, balconies and vaults. These houses are very peculiar because they were built in a local yellow stone, extracted from caves close to the city. House typologies in As-Salt were designed according to social status and wealth. The simpler layouts were referred to as the peasant’s house and houses with larger rooms and finer architectural details were the houses of the rich. Houses were constructed in orderly ranks on the hills of the city. The building materials used in the city’s historic architecture included yellow stone transported from neighbouring quarries, wood, mud mixed with straw, lime, brick and tiles. As a result of the increasing attention into building development, the trade industry also began to flourish. Likewise, customs and living traditions were formed as the community grew such as religious festivals and seasons. The layered urban fabric of the city with its history and vibrant living heritage ideally positions As-Salt for sustainable heritage preservation management. There is therefore huge potential to utilise the extensive benefits of digital technologies in supporting the effective and sustainable planning tangible and intangible cultural heritage in Jordan.
Qaqish Traditional House
Qaqish house was built in 1895 to 1900. It is located in al Qala’a mountain Alymama neighborhood. It is positioned in Khader street, a prominent heritage street in As Salt city. Qaqish house has a simple interior and exterior design intended to have a harmonious sympathetic relationship with its mountainous surroundings. This building crucially represents the transformation from modest peasant houses to the stone mansions of the new emerging class. It is considered to be one of the oldest houses in As-Salt.
Qaqish house has a simple interior and exterior design intended to have a harmonious sympathetic relationship with its mountainous surroundings. This building crucially represents the transformation from modest peasant houses to the stone mansions of the new emerging class. It is considered to be one of the oldest houses in As-Salt. The walls of the house were built using local yellow stones and the cross vaults are the main roofing system with some barrel vaults. Wooden beams from tree trunk covered by reeds were used on a small area on the upper level.
3D Models of Qaqish House
The project team developed a 3D library of Qaqish House in collaboration with the University of Salerno, Italy. The team selected sample BIM objects that are repetitive in the traditional architecture of As-Salt (cross- vault, stone wall, arched windows). A new library of BIM objects derived by the Qaqish house is available for open access viewing and download.