Almughany, Nihad; El-Wazir, Mohammad; Al-Qeeq, Farid; and Dawood, Hosam. "A Sustainable Approach for Urban Integration of Hammams in Samarah in the Historic City of Gaza," in ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 3, issue 1 (2009).
Throughout historical ages, Gaza has been viewed amongst the most important cities of Palestine. The historic centre of Gaza is among the most important sites in the city as it bustles with business activities and is the place of major historic sites, and cultural and architectural legacy in the region. The city of Gaza used to have several public baths which were built to meet the hygiene and health needs of the local inhabitants. Furthermore, they played an important social role as gathering places for socio-cultural events, parties and meetings. It is most unfortunate that a large number of these baths have disappeared, apart from the Samarah bath in Al-Zaitoun neighbourhood at the heart of the old city. Hence, the preservation of this unique genuine heritage building is of high importance. This paper attempts to establish key scenarios to integrate the hammam into the Old City urban fabric. The study is based on the hypothesis stating that a sustainable approach can be achieved by associating the hammam to its urban context. Thus, the hammam will constitute an important part of a touristic tour including the main urban entities composing the old City: Al-Omari Mosque, Qisaria Market, Pasha Palace and Khan Al-Zait. Three main scenarios will be proposed, analyzed and explored. The study concludes by suggesting an appropriate scenario for the adaptive re-use of the building, in order to preserve the hammam.