Bio-metaphor in Iraqi architecture (Date Palm as model)

  • fawzia asadi University of Baghdad/college of engineering/Architectural department


The metaphor concept plays a significant role in the design process. By employing diverse sources, the metaphor has been an essential source for many architects in their achievements throughout the ages starting from the architecture of Mesopotamia to the present time.

Bio-metaphor is one of the prominent metaphor types used in architecture, where it seeks to imitate the living entities due to its formal and synthetic properties. The metaphor the natural entities resulted in various configurations. Plants have represented one of the inspiration sources in metaphoric, the architecture. The date palm, for example, emerged as a distinctive source of bio-metaphor in Iraqi architecture since its early beginnings. That was because of the domination of this tree in Iraqi environment and its uniqueness in structure and form. These distinctive characteristics provided a wide range of metaphor for architects with respect to shape, dimensions and proportions.

So the research aim is to study the bio metaphor from date palm tree in Iraqi architecture.

The results show how the date palm with all its parts has been adopted by Iraqi architects with various expressions in their works through successive periods.