210504 Zakir House
Zakir House in Jeddah, which collapsed. Image Credit: Sabq

Abu Dhabi: The ancient Zakir House in historic Jeddah collapsed on Monday, a month after its owner, Mohammad Zakir, the oldest carpenter and teacher of Rawashin, bay windows or oriels that give a markedly different look for the Hejazi architecture style, died, witnesses said.

Muhieddeen Nazer and his brothers used to live in the house. Mohammad Zakir lived there and he also ran a carpentry shop that utilised traditional tools. He used the area in front of his house as a Mirkaaz (gathering place) where he used to meet and host friends.

The building is located within the Saudi Crown Prince’s project to save the historic houses of Jeddah. It was under restoration and supervised by the Ministry of Culture. It was one of the landmarks of the historic buildings located in the heart of Jeddah, close to the Nassif House, in which King Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman lived as her entered Jeddah, around 100 years ago.

Teams of civil defence began investigation into the incident.

Like other old Jeddah houses, Zakir House featured rawashin or projecting latticed windows adorned with intricate wood works.

Rawashin are bay windows or oriels of intricate wood-works that give a markedly different look for the Hejazi architecture making the building different from the Najdi style.

Jeddah being the gate way to the Holy City of Mecca has been serving over many centuries as the meeting point of various Muslim cultures notably of Arabs, Ottomans and Persians and helped to emerge as a blend of these cultures over centuries.

However, the popularity of western architectural style and the difficulty to find experts in the classical Jeddah style are some of the reasons that made the style gradually disappear.