The Institute is located at the eastern end of the Old City of Damascus, one of the unique UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Zeituna house is situated close to a Roman gate called Bab Sharqi. The history of the house dates back to the late Ottoman period in (circa 1850s) and the house was restored by the Institute during 2006-2008. Syrian architect Muhammed Darwish has been in charge of the restoration and the work has been carried out by Syrian craftsmen specializing in the restoration of old houses.
The house is built in a traditional Damascene style around a big courtyard. The house’s decorative features include an iwan-recess, fountain and citrus trees. The ground floor houses the festive reception room (qa’a), offices, a classroom and a library. The upper floor of the house contains guestrooms. The house has many decorative and traditional elements and details. It is possible to organize small exhibitions, lectures and public events in the Institute’s premises. Researchers and students can also reserve accommodation in the premises, for more information please under Institute – Accommodation.