A traditional dome house in pre-war Syria
A traditional dome house in pre-war Syria ©


We are pleased to award the Dome houses from Syria project £84,616

This project will preserve and revitalise the tradition of domed houses to offer a housing solution to displaced Syrian families. 

The Syrian tradition of domed houses

Syrian domed houses, sometimes referred to as beehive houses, are a type of vernacular built heritage that is common to many areas of northern Syria. As vernacular heritage, they shape the rural cultural landscape of Syria and are a much-photographed feature of traditional Syrian life, attracting interest from across the globe.  

Constructed from readily available, sustainable materials, these dome structures are an example of energy-friendly houses that are low maintenance. Re-learning the dying art of constructing these houses will preserve Syrian cultural heritage whilst offering a solution to displaced families whose homes have been destroyed by conflict.  

Building a prototype house in the Bekaa Valley

By drawing on the oral histories of masons who carry the unique technical knowledge from the Bekaa Valley and the north-east of Aleppo in Syria, arenciel will work with locals to build a prototype house in Taanayel, the Bekaa region of Lebanon. 

The build will involve Syrian and Lebanese masons and local workers who will benefit from training on the reuse and revival of traditional building techniques. arcenciel will also undertake an advocacy programme to build awareness and understanding of dome housing for locals and Syrians with a view to displaced peoples gaining historical knowledge that could provide them with a vital housing solution in the future.  


About arcenciel

arcenciel is a Lebanese based non-profit organization established in 1985 during the Lebanese civil war. It was recognized as a public interest NGO in 1995 by Presidential Decree N7541. With five core programmes being implemented at 12 centres across Lebanon, arcenciel’s main goal is to work with every person in need.

arcenciel aims to vigorously advance national policies in all the sectors in which it is active, while keeping a non-confessional and apolitical stance.