The 5m² Maid’s Room: Lebanon’s Racist, Gendered Architecture

Lebanon’s labor law does not include foreign workers, allowing real estate developers to house them in inhuman conditions.

The legal framework is defined by the Lebanese Construction Law which contains several clauses relating to domestic worker lodging. First, it should be noted that the Law refers to domestic workers’ lodgings as “servants’ rooms” and even goes so far as to refer to the “servant” in one particularly revealing instance in the feminine form. This worker room type is chunked together throughout the text with other types such as storage rooms, laundry rooms, and outhouses that are primarily not designed to contain people for extended periods of time. The primary purpose of this grouping is to delineate the room types that do not factor into the general floor area ratio (translation from Arabic: “general investment ratio”) so as to allow developers to maximize the areas of rooms that add market value.

English | November 30, 2016



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