Notes on the Geography of Yemen: Shibam: Photo 3
The balcony is unusual but even more suggestive of New York. The general design of the houses, like those in Sana'a, is for a central pier around which a staircase winds and from which cross walls reach out to the exterior to form rooms and provide rigidity. The ground floor is for storage, the second floor is the men's reception and winter-sleeping room; the third and fourth floors are for women. For summer sleeping these houses have unroofed rooms positioned so they are invisible from neighboring buildings. The fifth floor and above are for married children or common use.
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