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  • Lilian Anjo

Saboura Metal House – Adaptive reuse of the marble factory

Title: Saboura Metal House – Adaptive reuse of the marble factory

Location: Saboura - Damascus countryside - Syria.

By: Lilian Anjo


In light of studying the experiences of some countries with regard to the cultural investment of industrial facilities and their adaptive reuse, and through the comparison with the marble factory in Saboura with the illustration of some intersections between the models. We find it necessary to find starting points to preserve the industrial memory. The project aims to study possible approaches to documenting and maintaining this industry. In addition to potential proposals to reuse the factory to achieve the cultural and economical needs of the society in the future.

The reason for creating the project:

On the road linking Qura Al-Assad and Saboura and leading to Beirut Street, a huge marble factory facility grabs one’s attention, which is not clearly visible except for several symbols that have become what is most remembered by travelers to and from the countryside.

The factory was always part of the road to the capital, as it was an old, deserted and a strange building.

The reason for the existence of this factory here is because the area was considered, remote and almost empty area, but now Saboura is considered the most important tourist residential expansion in Damascus.

The area is agricultural and residential, and tends to be quiet, as there are some schools, touristic and entertainment resorts nearby.

From this standpoint, the importance of the project begins.

The aim of the project: 

Restore the industrial zone to a cultural and investmental area while preserving the industrial identity of the region. 

Processing the visual memory of the road. 

Meet the needs of the area's residents whose housing location does not meet the high evel of services in the city cente. 

Performing various activities within the vacant spaces. 

Getting different generation to use the facility.

Overview of the factory: 

The marble factory was founded in 1982. 

It has an area of 4,400 square meters. 

The factory is not for max production, it is a marble sawmill to spread and cut marble to meet the needs of the region. 

The production capacity is 25,000 square meters of marble slabs. Which is relatively small capacity and any other factory or saw mill can provide more than three times its output.

The difficulties that face the factory: 

Outdated and inefficient sawing machines. 

Unavailability of the necessary marble blocks for sawing due to the high prices of transporting marble blocks from the coast to the factory.

The current conditions that prevent the supply of spare parts for the equipment or the construction of a new production line due to the high cost of the plant. 

The current condition of the factory is not profitable and unable to pay its employees’ wages.

Project’s site overview: 

The land to be studied is located in Saboura - Damascus countryside - Syria. 

Away from the city center, "Umayyad Square", about 20 km. 

The land area is approximately 8 hectares, which includes the marble factory. 

This building is located on a deserted land directly overlooking the street.

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