Volume 2, Number 3 (12-2014)                   2014, 2(3): 58-76 | Back to browse issues page

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Housing Design Principles of Islam and Other Contemporary Usable Patterns. Iran University of Science & Technology. 2014; 2 (3) :58-76
URL: http://jria.iust.ac.ir/article-1-61-en.html

Abstract:   (4872 Views)
Designing a muslim man’s house should be the outcome of Islamic values and beliefs of its inhabitants. Islam is a comprehensive religion that can provide a set of basic principles as a guide and framework for housing design. According to the country's macro policies on the revival of Islamic Iranian architecture, it seems necessary to pay attention to the housing design principles of Islam and realization of these principles in past and present time. Since Islam is not limited to a specific age and place and can meet the needs of human being in different periods, the compatibility of universal teachings with Islamic principles must be considered. According to the verses and narratives mentioned in the Islamic sources, housing and residential spaces should have two main types of characteristics. The first type is negative characteristics that need to be removed and second type is positive characteristics that are visible to recommended. Consideration of these principles can determine the design of a Muslim’s house. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the research, some of the most important principles of housing design were extracted from the religion references at first. Then the similar principles in other cultures of the world (such as theories of Alexander (1977), Scruton (1995), Pallasmaa (2006) and Marcus (2001)) were evaluated by using comparative-historical method. Finally observance or non-observance of these principles in the past and today houses is discussed in order to achieve alive and dynamic principles of house design in contemporary world. The purpose of the research is to present the basic principles and design suggestions in order to improve housing conditions by using the resources of religion (primarily the Holy Quran and the authentic narrations) and evaluate contemporary theories and residential buildings based on these principles. In the field of housing, Islam suggests residents’ privacy, limitation, hospitality, avoiding luxury, balance of home size, height and decorations. These principles were respected in most of iranian traditional homes and in few cases inconsistencies are observed. For example the principle of “balancing the height of interior spaces of the house” is not respected in some traditional houses such as “Zinat al-Molk house” or “Narenjestan-e Qavam”. Unfortunately, a lot of these principles are not respected in designing common types of modern apartment houses. For example, small size of the house and not separation of public and private space will cause family problems and destroy moral values of the family. On the other hand, in some residential complexes, some factors such as building height, and using extra decorations, as well as the use of luxury materials of façade induce show-off which is against Islamic rules. Many of the Islamic teachings have been emphasized in other cultures of the world and also the views of theorists however some cases can be seen different. Therefore, it is necessary to be careful in emulating the universal examples. The importance of this research is finding appropriate and inappropriate global patterns and theories based on Islamic principles So that a muslim could take advantage of the principles of Islam and its physical reflection in housing design. - In the principle of visual prohibition that most traditional houses regarded, the teachings of Alexander in the patterns 115, 140 and 164 differ with Islamic teachings. He recommends enclosed courtyards and terraces overlooking the street. - The principle of avoiding physical individuality of house that Pallasmaa and Scruton also have emphasized in the field of housing, is contravened by some architects like Eisenman and Gehry. These architects usually use unconventional forms and facades. - About balancing the height of interior spaces of the house, theorists haven’t particular opinion. However architects such as Le Corbusier pay attention to this in some of his designs. - In the field of home decoration, Islam recommends rules in two aspects: Recommend adornment and renounce luxury. Alexander (in the pattern 249) and Venturi confirmed these teachings. But some modern architects such as Adolf Loos and Le Corbusier offer contradictory ones and prohibit any decoration in designing. Balance in decoration is obvious in the designs of some architects such as Wright and Ando, however it is ignored in some houses such as Gaudi’s design which is full of additional elements. - The principle of privacy is confirmed by most of the world cultures and theorists such as Alexander (in the pattern 127, 130, 79, 136) although in some few cases such as Johnson Glass House ignored. - The principles of hospitality and size balance which are always emphasized by Islamic and Iranian traditions, are neglected in other cultures and universal teachings and also contemporary apartment houses. Results show that the principles of Islamic architecture such as privacy and limitation, hospitality, balance of home area and its decoration is mainly observed in traditional Iranian houses. Although many of these principles are approved by global theorists and architects in designing homes, in some contemporary cases, failure to comply with Islamic teachings is visible. So it is necessary for us to be cautious about simulation these samples.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Subject- oriented researches in Islamic architecture and urbanism, eg. Spatial-geometrical ideas, symbols and ornaments
Received: 2015/04/8 | Accepted: 2015/04/8 | Published: 2015/04/8

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