Volume 5, Issue 3 (Autumn 2018 2017)                   JRIA 2017, 5(3): 20-34 | Back to browse issues page

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Ahmadi F, Afshar A, Aghalatifi A. Explaining the Transformation of the Territory in Residential Hierarchy of Surrounding Fabric of Imam Reza (AS) Holy Shrine: The Case of Noghan District in Mashhad. JRIA 2017; 5 (3) :20-34
URL: http://jria.iust.ac.ir/article-1-832-en.html
Eqbal Lahoori Institute of Higher Education
Abstract:   (5845 Views)
One way to improve the quality of the human environment is to clear its spatial hierarchy. For this purpose, public, semi-public, semi-private and private areas should be clearly separated, and their border areas should be distinguished. This will increase the sense of attachment to the environment and gives identity to the residential environments. This article aims to investigate the concept of territory as one of the factors affecting the quality of the human relationship with the residential environment. To achieve this objective, the concept of territory and the factors affecting it are defined. According to the theoretical foundations presented, it can be stated that the territory is a mechanism to monitor the border between self and others, and is a mean to achieve the desired privacy. The main feature of the territory is its high dependency on culture. It also has features such as a sense of identity and possibility of personalization.
Many factors affect the territory, including social factors, cognitive-psychological factors, physical factors, functional factors, geographical-cultural factors, as well as time. The concept also has human systems such as the primary territory (on which individuals have full and extensive monitoring), secondary territory (with less central and exclusive role, and acts as a bridge between the primary and the public territory), and public territory (is quite temporary and almost anyone has access to and the right to use it); according to the research objective, these human hierarchy will be studied in Noghan district.
In the early Islamic centuries, the holy city of Mashhad was created by combining the ancient city of Noghan and the surrounding villages. After the martyrdom of Imam Reza (AS) and joining of Mashhad-al-Reza and Noghan, the name Mashhad became widespread. However the physicality and name of Noghan still remained in the vicinity of Mashhad until today and for a thousand and two hundred years. Therefore, Noghan is one of the oldest district in the city of Mashhad. Despite the importance of Noghan district in historical studies, beliefs, architecture, and urban planning as an intertextuality document, large part of it disappeared after recent implementation of modernization and reconstruction projects in the fabric surrounding Imam Reza holy shrine. With regard to the physical progress of the project in other sectors, the least amount of manipulation and progress happened in Noghan district. This represents the necessity to protect the identity of the district. One of the salient features of this district is placement of holy shrine in direction of Qibla, pointed to as bi-qibla feature of the distrcit. This unique feature causes accommodation of pilgrims from Arabic countries in Noghan and sense of attachment of most of the resident to the area.
In this district, because of accommodation of pilgrims in the houses of people residing in the fabric, certain type of life has been formed, and the area classifications and spatial hierarchies have been changed. Therefore, this study examines the spatial hierarchy and the area classification in the district, and finally, provides recommendations to improve the quality of shelter design in the district. This study applies, its variable is qualitative, and its practical method includes document-based studies, questionnaires, and field observations. The results show that the human territory system in Noghan district has taken a special form for simultaneous presence of pilgrims and residents in the same residential house. In fact, due to this coexistence, the initial territory is limited. Secondary territory in this neighborhood has found dual and fluid nature, so as due to the characteristics of its audience (reference culture, length of residence, type of residence etc.) is moving toward the public or private sphere.
This fluid nature is less aggregated to physical dimensions, and more related to perceptive-psychological dimensions. Therefore, due to the simultaneous presence of self and others, the secondary territory in this area is divided into the semi-public and semi-private spaces, where the scale for the area classification varies according to the target audience. Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (AS) is one of the most important factors leading to increased length of residence and satisfaction of residents, and hence affects the perception of territories. In addition, the district due to be near to the holy shrine has a 24 hour living, resulting in increased security. Finally, it can be stated that the nature of the territory in this neighborhood is exposed to a kind of transformation. Thus, since identity of residential hierarchy in the district depends on mixing of residents and pilgrims and its recreating should be performed based on the lifestyle of its residents and the existing territorial system, to preserve the residents of the fabric and enhance local identity.
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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: 2018/01/21 | Accepted: 2018/01/21 | Published: 2018/01/21

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