The Spatial Culture of Traditional and Contemporary Housing in Qatar. A Comparative Analysis based on Space Syntax
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Residential architecture is the product of various influential factors that directly relate to the needs and wants of the occupants, subjecting residential architecture to transformation on an urban scale. In the context of the State of Qatar, the forces of globalization have affected socio-cultural factors, and this change is reflected in the spatial form of Qatari houses during rapid urbanization over the previous decades. The contemporary construction of housing tends to reflect the requirements of a global market instead of local architectural identity. Thus, a comparative assessment is established to contemplate the housing transformation in Qatar over the history of its urban development. A comparative investigation of spatial form in traditional and contemporary Qatari houses can provide useful insights into the embedded socio-cultural patterns influencing the development of housing in Qatar ever since the discovery of oil in the 1930s-50s. This research study uses space syntax analysis, supported by other simulation and visualization techniques, to examine these socio-cultural patterns in a selected sample of traditional and contemporary Qatari houses. Despite changes over time and across different eras, the study reveals that specific factors such as (1) privacy, (2) gender segregation and (3) hospitality tend to determine the spatial form of both vernacular and modern models of Qatari housing. The study concludes that these findings can help positively contribute towards the development of a distinctive architectural identity based on social sustainability and tradition for the urban regeneration of the built environment. Such efforts are directed toward fulfilling the future urban strategies defined by Qatar National Vision 2030 and Qatar National Development Framework that seek to guide the development process of the country to a sustainable path for achieving a balanced growth model between locality and globalization.
- Architecture & Urban Planning [26 items ]