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Salalah old house

Salalah old house


A typical house in the old part of Salalah, a large portion of which has fallen into decay. The traditional method of building was stone covered with a layer of limestone plaster, with ceilings framed of coconut trunks and covered with coconut palm fronds. The houses were angled to catch the sea breezes through small, attractively carved wooden windows shuttered during the day to keep out the sun. Nowadays cement and steel is used as well as aluminum window frames. However the high salt content of the sea air soon renders the aluminum a rusted mess, erodes the steel rods causing the roofs to cave in and peels off the paint covering the cement. There is a reason we should return to vernacular building techniques – it is environmentally sound.