Waterhub in the Hamidiyah district
Mélanie Baptista de Sousa
EPFL in Lausanne in Switzerland
"For this first-year master's project at EPFL, we worked on the issue of water in the city of Homs in Syria. This is why we planned this waterhub in the Hamidiyah district. It is about a district almost entirely bombarded which is seen emptied of its inhabitants. For those who stayed there, life is extremely difficult and basic needs such as basic hygiene and water are scarce.
In Islamic culture, water is more than only a vital need but also has a very strong symbolic value.
The first mission as humanitarian architect is to respond to the water and hygiene need. At the
same time, the symbolic nature of the place must be preserved through the quality of the space.
The ambition is to reinterpret the forms, the light and the different specificities of these water
places. The architectural intervention is modest but nevertheless allow this ancestral tradition to be preserved. In addition to the symbolic dimension of the water, a large part of this waterhub is dedicated to purely practical purposes such as basic hygiene necessity.
The project responds to a humanitarian need but is capable of remaining in place over time. Indeed, hammams also have a social, moral and hygienic role, even in good sanitary conditions. The purely functional part could be extended and reallocated according to the future needs of the