HBIM Interactive Platform for Social Inclusivity in the Rehabilitation of Heritage hammams and the Development of Creative Design Economy in Marrakech

Lead Research Organisation: CARDIFF UNIVERSITY
Department Name: Welsh School of Architecture (ARCHI)


Heritage hammams in the Maghreb historic cities continue to be an important living heritage in the 21st Century, as highlighted by past research on the surviving and still functioning historic public bathhouses (hammams) of the North African heritage cities of Marrakech, Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli, and Cairo.

Morocco is where the largest number of functioning heritage hammams have been surveyed and where new hammams are part of the cluster of key urban facilities introduced in every new residential neighbourhood, in accordance with local planning regulations. Hammams contribute to social sustainability by providing a much-needed affordable facility for the hygiene and wellbeing of the economically disadvantaged population in the area. Additionally, the multi-generational reproduction of the collective bathing ritual, beyond the purification ritual, means that the spatial practice of the hammam can contribute to build and strengthen social and cultural capital and continue supporting the physical and mental health of men and women in post-traditional Morocco.

The Ecohammam project from which this project is a follow-on, has engaged a large number of different hammam stakeholders through 6 virtual forum in 2020-2021. As evident from discussions with members of Marrakech hammam managers association during the virtual engagement events, none of the heritage hammams of Marrakech have been rehabilitated so far. Excessive gentrification in the heritage urban fabric of Marrakech brought about by mass tourism has led to the transformation of some of the heritage hammams into spas . Although Marrakech is inscribed on the UNESCO World heritage list, the tangible and intangible heritage of its hammams is in danger of disappearance.

Therefore, the main of this Follow-on Funding project is to develop the first Hammam HBIM (Heritage Building Information Modelling) Library and a web-based interactive platform to facilitate inclusive, collaborative multi-stakeholder conservation and rehabilitation decision making based on authentic features of Marrakech hammams. The HBIM will also provide a tool for the development of creative contemporary designs. Based on a representative sample of 16 heritage hammams, documented by the PI in Marrakech in 2009 (AH/D503019/1), and the hammam challenges identified during the EcoHammam project (AH/T007036/1), see Ecohammam.com, this project aims to develop the first ever Moroccan Hammam HBIM catalogue with an interactive platform that can be scaled up to other heritage cities.

The Hammam HBIM project will achieve the following six objectives:
1. Produce 3D point cloud models from metric pictures with reference to CAD drawings of existing conditions for the 16 heritage hammam buildings.
2. Extract key values, semantic details and specific features for the heritage hammams in Marrakech according to the different historical eras in collaboration with project partners to identify the iconic and recurrent features.
3. Identify the ontological rules and hidden principles for the HBIM specification of the typological characteristics of the hammams' structural components, spatial urban and architectural configurations, architectural details
4. Develop an HBIM catalogue for the building components of the Marrakech heritage hammam structures, which will form the basis for an HBIM resource for the recording of a representative sample of 16 case studies.
5. Build a web-based online interactive HBIM platform for easy collaborative access by different stakeholders to use, reuse and evaluate, taking into account the demands for using BIM protocols in the Rehabilitation of Heritage Hammams as well as contemporary design projects.
6. Test the web-based interactive HBIM platform (including the HBIM catalogue of heritage hammams) with the stakeholders to finalise the Hammam HBIM platform and make it available to all stakeholders to increase the visibility of the heritage hammams of Marrakech


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Description We have developed an new in-depth understanding of the architecture of heritage hammams in the medina of Marrakech. We have also developed the first ever Building information modelling platform for hammam buildings. This has allowed us to have a catalogue of building components, based on the recording of 16 heritage public bath structures..
We have also 3d printed and made visible the rich but hidden architectural language of authentic heritage hammam buildings in Marrakech .
Exploitation Route The outcomes of this funding will be taken forward by the Museum of water civilisation in Marrakech in the form of a new and permanent exhibition on heritage hammam buildings in Morocco.
The project has created a database and a Building information Platform for heritage hammams that will be useful to architects , engineers, schools of architecture, specialists in building conservation and heritage studies. This platform can be extended to all the hammams located in the heritage cities of Morocco and beyond. It will also help with the design of new hammams that interpret authentic heritage components into new creative contemporary designs that address the challenges brought about climate change , such as drought and water scarcity.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Construction,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://ecohammam.com
Description The findings of this research have resulted in a series of outputs that will continue to engage (through the Museum of Water Civilisation in Morocco) national and international audiences with the Hidden Heritage of public bathhouses of the UNESCO world heritage city of Marrakech. digital 3D printed models , an interactive map showing the location of the hammams in Marrakech medina as well as a heritage building Information model platform will be made available online and through the museum in Marrakech to inform rehabilitation projects and the design of contemporary hammams. The Ministry of traditional crafts and culture are intending to use our findings for the protection of the authenticity of Moroccan hammams.
First Year Of Impact 2023
Sector Construction,Creative Economy,Education,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic

Description University Cadi Ayyad for science and technology 
Organisation Cadi Ayyad University
Country Morocco 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have engaged for the first time three engineering professors from Cadi Ayyad University who participated to the last workshop of the HAMMAM HBIM project. They have also hosted the one day workshop with 30 participants and provided (free of charge) conference room and access to technical facilities for the workshop held on the 22nd March 2023. Models and presentations about the results of the project were shared during the workshop and areas for future collaboration were identified.
Collaborator Contribution Three professors from Cadi Ayyad University have shared the results of their multidisciplinary related to energy efficient building and water heating systems for hammam buildings and water recycling possibilities of used hammam water. These informed discussion with hammam managers and researchers about the need for future research collaboration between the UK and Morocco in terms of further developments of the HAMMAM HBIM platform for simulating and testing retrofitting scenarios for energy efficiency and water recycling.
Impact This collaboration has led to the discussion about the formation of a multi-disciplinary research unit on developing a prototype for a Moroccan Ecohammam building in collaboration with experts in Water Engineering, Mechanical Engineering , Physics Department and Renewable energy engineering .
Start Year 2023
Description HAMMAM HBIM final workshop held at the University Cadi Ayyad in Marrakech on the 22nd March 2023 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact The results of the project have been presented to all stakeholders , including researchers at the University Cadi Ayyad of Marrakech and the director of the Water Civilisation museum.
The one day event was held on the 22nd March 2023 at the conference room of Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakech with both face to face and online modes. It engaged all previous key stakeholders as well as researchers working on water recycling and hybrid heating systems for the development of eco-hammams stakeholders . A representative of the Ministry of Handicraft and Culture in Rabat attended the event and expressed the need to communicate the results of the project to the Ministry , with the aim to develop new regulations regarding the attributes of an authentic Moroccan hammam. Virtual and 3D models of 14 historic hammams , an interactive map with the location of the heritage hammams in the old city of Marrakech and architectural drawings and analyses of architectural components were presented. The first ever 3D printed models of the heritage hammams of Marrakech were produced and donated to the Director of the Museum of Water Civilisation in Marrakech. These will be permanently displayed in the Museum section concerning hammams. Agreement has been made with the Director of the museum that the outcome of the project will be displayed in the museum as part of a permanent exhibition, hence increasing the project engagement with a wider audience and beyond the duration of the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2023
URL https://cardiff.cloud.panopto.eu/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=6af66e30-b6fa-4678-a898-afcd017123db
Description Hammam HBIM interactive platform for the rehabilitation of heritage hammams of Marrakech and the development of a creative economy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The first project International workshops was delivered at the Museum of Water Civilisation in Marrakech, on the 16th of June 2022. The purpose was to engage different key local stakeholders with the HAMMAM HBIM Project and raise awareness about the hidden rich urban and architectural heritage of the historic hammams of Marrakech. 30 stakeholders attended the workshop and consisted of architects from three well- established architectural practices in Marrakech and Fez, members of the National Federation of Hammam managers in Morocco, members of the local associations of hammam managers of Marrakech, staff from the schools of architecture of Marrakech and Cardiff University, members of local heritage NGOs , Hammam owners as as representatives from the Ministry of Habous and Religious Affairs in Morocco.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022,2023
Description Second Workshop of HAMMAM HBIM project 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact This is the second workshop held in Marrakech on the 9th of January 2023 at the Museum of Water Civilisation. 32 participants were engaged with the latest development of the HBIM hammam platform, based on a sample of 16 heritage hammams, documented by the PI in 2008-2009. They were engaged with 3D printed models of 4 hammams in Marrakech which were used to prompt discussions on the authentic architectural features and construction techniques of Moroccan hammams in general and those in Marrakech in particular. The workshop sparked discussions about the need to document and safeguard this heritage, particularly that it is in danger of disappearing as the result of advanced gentrification processes inside the historic core of the city. Participants reported increased interest in contacting relevant Ministries in Morocco, such the Ministry of handicrafts and culture, the Ministry of the Habous and Religious Affairs to protect the authenticity of the Moroccan hammams m exacerbated by the proliferation of spas for tourists. Suggestions were also raised by key stakeholders about the necessity to inscribe this Moroccan heritage on the UNESCO world heritage list.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022,2023
URL https://cardiff.cloud.panopto.eu/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=dd481bfd-fbf2-4ec8-9207-af88010a55ca