Nexus Network Journal

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 45–72 | Cite as

The Spatial Logic of Mamluk Madrassas: Readings in the Geometric and Genotypical Compositions

  • Shatha Malhis


This paper looks at the spatial development of Mamluks’ educational buildings (madrassas) throughout the Bahri and Burji periods (1260–1517 A.D.). The lines of inquiry aim at investigating diachronically the degree by which madrassas can demonstrate the idea of a single configurationally dominant genotype. Madrassas are scrutinized according to their geometric and spatial attributes; their spatial structure is described according to their patterns of permeability, and interpreted using geometric-syntactic and statistical analysis. Despite the variability of the madrassas’ footprints, this research highlights the conventions essential in stabilizing the madrassa as a building type and identifies the regional ‘court’ and the local ‘Jerusalem’ genotypes. While the results for the first identify an integrated central zone with segregated outer environments, those of the second identify a centrifugal-extroverted plan that tries to expand its circle of presence, and maximize its opportunities of encounter.


Mamluk Madrassa Court genotype Jerusalem genotype Educational building Iwan Madrassas Space syntax 



The author would like to thank Petra University for funding this research. Grant Number: (01/05/2013).


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Copyright information

© Kim Williams Books, Turin 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Architecture and DesignPetra UniversityAmmanJordan

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