Bouillot, Jean. "The Physical and Climactic Dimensions of the Mediterranean Hammams," in ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 2, issue 3 (2008).
This paper attempts to explore the different experiences inside case study hammams in a number of Mediterranean countries. It investigates the physical, climatic, bioclimatic, psychological as well as bathing and ritual aspects. The hammams 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 hammams: the passive ones with their specific devices and the active ones with different thermo-dynamic systems. General statements can be made from the climatic point of view : the hammam design is different and specific from one country to another ; all hammams 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 hammam 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 dehydration caused by the hot arid climate.