Amran has been a historical intersection of important trading routes. In its earliest days, the walls of the city opened at three points; to the east, along the road to Sana'a, to the south, creating passage to Hajjah, and to the West, opening the way to the Yal Yazid. In its earliest days, Amran served as a center for ancient tribal confederations, and later, as an outpost of Sana'a.
Characteristic of the architecture in Amran, are stone and mud-brick constructions and a vernacular style which allows for the overhanging of storied houses beyond their base plan. Also distinctive of the buildings of Amran, is scalloped crenellation along the roof tops, and white plastered contouring around windows. These buildings show careful consideration of both ventilation and lighting. Stylistic similarities between these elements have been pointed out between structures in Amran and Yarim. Many of the buildings of Amran also reveal a Turkish influence in their detailing, particularly in their wooden lattice additions.
Development in Amran has been heavily concentrated in the southern part of the city, growing alongside the establishments of different institutions, like schools, medical facilities, and an army camp. Though traditional materials have persisted to some extent, much of the more recent construction has been executed with concrete frames and cement blocks. Subsequently, the opening of a cement factory in south-west has further transformed the city, drawing more dwellers and impacting economic and ecological conditions in the surrounding areas.
Varanda, Fernando. "Amran."In Development and Urban Metamorphosis; Volume 2: Background Papers, edited by Ahmet Evi, 22-23. Singapore: Concept Media/Aga Khan Award for Architecture, 1984.