According to various historical sources (Haedo 1578— 1580, Shaw 1808 & De Grammaye 1670) in Algiers, all houses look alike, most of them have a central patio or square courtyard surrounded by rooms. This type of house is called "Dar". A gallery supported by columns with horseshoe pointed arches surrounds this courtyard called " wastaldar'. A great number of the palaces and houses have three levels. Houses with courtyard develop another type of dwelling, which is called "Dar shebak", house with metal grid, where dimension of the courtyard is reduced. This grid represents only a tiny vertical opening for daylight. Furthermore, we can find houses called "Alwi", because of constraint of the site giving narrows plots. So, they do not neither "patio" nor grid. As a consequence, this houses open towards external sance. These are generally situated on the border of the streets (figure 2). The number of houses was estimate at 5000 (De Paradis 18th century) and are about 800 today (Cellule Casbah
2003). Religious buildings as mosques, military and government buildings are well built (Devoulx 1875).
The vertical structure of buildings is made up of masonry walls with a thickness varying from 10 cm for the poorest quality to 90 cm and more for defence structures. The masonry walls are built out of brick masonry bound by a lime mortar (figures 3, 3a & 3b).
The horizontal structure as floors and terraces were out of squared or not squared wood. All houses are covered with terraces and they all are bleached with lime (figures 4).
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