Jean Bouillot



This paper attempts to explore the different experiences inside case study hammāms in a number of Mediterranean countries. It investigates the physical, climatic, bioclimatic, psychological as well as bathing and ritual aspects. The hammāms are located in six Mediterranean cities : Fez, Constantine, Cairo, Damascus, Tripoli and Ankara. Two main analyses are carried out of the two zones composing the hammāms : the passive ones with their specifi c devices and the active ones with different thermo-dynamic systems. General statements can be made from the climatic point of view : the hammām design is different and specific from one country to another ; all hammāms of the same city are designed in the same standards despite the fact that they were built at different historic periods. This allows us to point out the importance of the impact of the climate on the hammām design in order to achieve human comfort. Hence it is necessary to assess the passive energy areas directly linked to the outside urban context (i.e. spaces paths, souks and streets). There is also the need to assess the climate influence on the design of active areas, as this is the case in Cairo where the hot water pools have been developed possibly in order to prevent dehydratation caused by the hot arid climate.


Hammām; water; energy; passive; active

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