Dr. Sami Angawi has a Doctor of Philosophy in Islamic Architecture from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK. Since 1988 he has been the Founder and General Director of the Amar Center for Architectural Heritage in charge of supervising all activities in areas of architectural designs, planning, conservation and development of architectural heritage, documentation of traditional architecture and analyzing its elements, research work in the fields of restoration of traditional architectural heritage and its relation to environmental and socio-economic factors, traditional arts and crafts.
The Amar Center for Architectural Heritage is a private organization located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The activities of this Center include the following:
Revival and development of traditional architecture through research and studies. Restoration and rehabilitation of traditional buildings and houses. Designing new buildings and projects based on the continuity of the traditional line of architecture from all aspects.
To carry out these activities the Center has developed architectural library containing more than 50,000 images of traditional architectural elements and buildings stored in the computer using the laser disc technology, as well as a library of architectural drawings of many elements with varying designs and styles. The Center has close contact and collaborates with various universities, research institutions and professional organizations on both local and international levels.
The design of this residence combines modern construction techniques with traditional crafts (such as Turkish mosaic and Moroccan 'zillij') and largely local materials (Coral Sea stone, desert sandstone and granite). Natural ventilation techniques minimise the need for air-conditioning even at the height of summer, while a water-recycling system feeds the plants that are an integral feature of both the central internal courtyard and the roof gardens. The Islamic principle of 'sitr' (ensuring privacy for neighbours as well as inhabitants of the house) is accomplished by using 'rawasheen' bay windows and intricate woodwork over the openings.