From Vernacular to Personalised and Sustainable


The social and environmental role of closed oriental balco-nies (Mashrabiyas) remains a significant vernacular aspect of Middle Eastern architecture. However, changes in architectural style, social needs, and the high manufacturing cost of Mashrabiya materials and techniques, Bahraini houses lost their very distinctive window veils. The research aims to validate a new Mashrabiya product for 21st cen-tury Bahraini houses using new manufacturing technologies. Additive Manufacturing (AM) is now at the heart of evolutionary technologies. Contextual information drawn from relevant theory, ethnography and practice is used to form a methodological framework for the new AM Mashrabiya. Additionally, interviews with architects, manufacturers and residents are the methods used to define a new AM Mashrabiya prototype that is then functionally and economically compared to oth-er manufacturing techniques. Prototypes of new AM screens are de-veloped. The main results set boundaries for the viability of AM to produce Mashrabiya and promote a sustainable way of reviving their use within Middle Eastern dwellings.


open access article


Mashrabiya, additive manufacturing, innovative construction, personalised products


Almerbati, N., Ford, P., Taki, A., Dean, L. (2015) From Vernacular to Personalised and Sustainable. In: Madeo, F. and Schnabel, M.A. (Eds.) ACROSS: Architectural Research through to Practice, 48th International Conference of the Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA), Austrailia: The Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA)and Italy: Genova University Press , pp. 479–490.


Research Institute

Institute of Architecture
Institute of Art and Design