When Sultan Qaitbey laid out his funerary complex in 1472, the area in front of the mosque/ madrasa was a public square much as it is today. In contrast, the area to the south and west of the mausoleum of al-Gulshani, which already existed, was apparently for personal use of the Sultan and his retinue. Besides the grand maq‘ad reception hall which is well-preserved, it included a courtyard accessible through a vaulted passage within the Gulshani complex. Lining its eastern side were residential and service rooms (including well designed flush toilets) adapted from earlier structures, and to the north, a sumptuous open-fronted pavilion with a richly decorated lantern roof. To the south stood a modest residential building probably for service personnel, and to the west, partially occupying the courtyard of the earlier tomb of Amir Mankalibugha, spacious open-fronted rooms shaded by overhanging eaves, of unknown use, possibly stables.
The buildings remained in use for a long time until they gradually fell into ruin. The whole lot was filled with garbage and rubble many metres thick when ARCHiNOS began work here in 2018. The structures are now being conserved and protected with the aim of opening the area to the public.