Wooden Bay Window ( Rowshan) Conservation in Saudi-Hejazi Heritage Buildings
A prominent feature of the architectural style of heritage buildings in western Saudi Arabia (Hijaz) cities such as Jeddah is the extensive use in their facades of projected intricately carved wooden bay window (
Rawasheen pl). Throughout Balad or the old town in Jeddah, the element of
Rowshan can be found made from many different types of woods such as teak, Javan, mahogany, other types of african and middle eastern woods and with different sizes, proportions, and varied intricate ornamentations and motifs. Besides its aesthetic value, the
rawasheen and their many components and parts provide other functions such as ventilation, lighting, and spatial and visual privacy for building interiors from the outside.
The profound degradation of Rawasheen is impacting the authenticity and heritage value of old buildings in historical Jeddah because of many factors that include: extensive moisture damage, using improper repair methods and joinery techniques to maintain rawasheen, using unsuitable cleaning products and wood paints, and replacing damaged parts with unkown types of wood. In order to prevent any further deterioration of Rawasheen, documentation of rawasheen and its components using recent digital methodologies and the utilization of proper repair techniques must be followed when working with these elements to ensure longevity of conservation, and preservation of value and authenticity.Through the disucssion of Rowshan repair methodology that was developed that include the digital documentation of all intricate details of rowshan panels and wood engraving which allowed replicating damaged elements beyond repair and applied to a listed building in old Jeddah, the paper provides Rowshan repair guidelines which relate to documentation, diagnostic methods, investigations and tests, repair methodology and reinforcement.