Reconstruction of the Sistani House within the citadel of Bam, Iran

Sistani House, Zitadelle Bam, Iran

The Sistani House is located in the centre of the Citadel of Bam. It is a rather typical type of dwelling dating to the late 18th or early 19th century (AD). The house is designed around two courtyards of different size and is constructed exclusively of clay. While some sparse parts as foundations or lower sections of walls are constructed in stamped clay, most parts of the house consist of adobes of different age and quality. Just as most parts of the citadel, the Sistani House was severely damaged by the 2003 earthquake: Only about 30 % of the structure has survived.

In the year 2006 a large test row was set up to develop new techniques that are capable to retrofit and preserve the remains in order to re-use them for a future reconstruction of the house. Tests also applied to the idea to reconstruct the house with reinforced adobe masonry that is capable to withstand another earthquake of comparable strength. In 2007 two rooms of the house have been reconstructed as a pilot project. In a first step, a thorough survey provided information about the structure. In a second step the remains were retrofitted with grouting, anchoring and needling. In a third step new adobe masonry was reinforced with glass fibre rods. 2008 the reconstruction of the rooms around the bigger, western courtyard started by using the same techniques.

  • Survey and building archaeology
  • Material tests
  • Damage analysis
  • Grouting, anchoring, needling
  • Production of palm fibre reinforced adobes
  • Planning process, statical calculations
  • Supervision of the construction site

Builder: Recovery Project of Bam’s Cultural Heritage, Iran

Project partners:

  • Iranian Cultural Heritage Handicrafts and Tourism Organization
  • United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • Federal German Foreign Office
  • Description
  • Working tasks
  • Owner / builder