The adaptation of vernacular design strategies for contemporary building design in Kurdistan
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ABSTRACT The contemporary architecture in Kurdistan’s cities is characterized by a low climatic and social performance. The contemporary architecture’s aesthetic does not have continuity, because it suffers from diverse and foreign elements and materials. This research identifies vernacular architectural strategies that could be adapted to contemporary architecture in Iraqi Kurdistan. These strategies could be applied to contemporary architecture directly or with modifications to improve the low climatic and social performance and aesthetics. In this study, the Erbil citadel is used as a main case study along with some secondary examples in the region. The qualitative approach is used to analyze these case studies, while in some parts of the analysis the quantitative approach is also used. As a result of this research, several vernacular strategies are identified that could be adapted to contemporary architecture to improve the climatic and social performance and aesthetics. The climatic performance could be improved by using narrow, zigzagged alleys and a central courtyard that provides natural ventilation and light. Additional climatic strategies include room height, thick walls, and wind tower ventilation. The social performance could be improved by using strategies that emphasize modesty and privacy. Some of these strategies include semi-public courtyards for neighborhood gatherings, separate areas for guests and family members, bent entrances, small exterior windows, and mashrabiyat. Finally, the aesthetics could be improved by using local materials and vernacular patterns to ornament the buildings, which would provide continuity to the facades.