Khan Asad Pasha is an important monument in the walled city of Damascus, within the Bzouriyyeh Souk. It was built by the governor of Syria, Asad al Azem, in 1752, and has changed hands more than once since. It was being used as a storage space in the heart of a busy commercial area by a large number of shopowners. This use was found incompatible with and detrimental to its many qualities and the Syrian Department of Museums and Antiquities decided to intervene. The two storey structure, which is considered to be unique, is square in plan, with a large, central court surmounted by nine domes. It contains a total of 80 rooms distributed on two levels around the courtyard. A monumental portal allows access to and from the souk. The intervention included the reconstruction of certain structural members, such as the four central pillars of the courtyard, and the domes. The construction is double bearing walls of stone and four central pillars, flat roof combined with brick domes and stone vaults, bricks and plaster mixed with gravel for infill, and alternative courses of white limestone and black basalt on the external façades.
Khan Asaad Pasha Restoration On-site Review Report, edited by Aga Khan Award for Architecture, 1986.
The On-site Review Report, formerly called the Technical Review, is a document prepared for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture by commissioned independent reviewers who report to the Master Jury about a specific shortlisted project. The reviewers are architectural professionals specialised in various disciplines, including housing, urban planning, landscape design, and restoration. Their task is to examine, on-site, the shortlisted projects to verify project data seek. The reviewers must consider a detailed set of criteria in their written reports, and must also respond to the specific concerns and questions prepared by the Master Jury for each project. This process is intensive and exhaustive making the Aga Khan Award process entirely unique.