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‘Small House Spatiality: A Comparative Space Syntax Application’

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Abstract and Figures

It has recently come to light that there is an increasing demand for a new type of small house design, which vary in area from 20 square metres to 100 square metres and even more. Being remarkably different from traditional types of spatial organizations, the new house types present an open plan concept with a highly flexible and adaptable spatial arrangement that exhibit diverse functional spaces within one open, integrated space. In light of this, the main aim of this study is to reveal the new dynamics of spatial organization found in today's small house types and identify the significant changes in the contemporary design approaches to small house layouts which have evolved from a need for minimized space usage and a requirement for diverse living spatiality. Subsequently, thirty houses have been chosen to be analysed for the purpose of this study to reveal the differences between integrated and segregated spatial organizations in regard to flexibility, adaptability, transformability and permeability within the spaces. In addition to this, the new spatial relations will be overviewed considering spatial depth, interpenetration and density to define more implicit organizations which are able to expand constantly and accommodate different functional spaces in one open space with the help of spatial identifiers. The main focus of this research study concentrates on the above mentioned dynamic forms of spatiality that change from being weak to strong, implicit to explicit and indistinct to clearly defined spaces. These forms are measured, analysed and basically compare by means of a space syntax application on the values of the space and convex maps of the thirty selected houses. In summary, the analysis and measurement of the spatial characteristics of contemporary small houses in this sphere include both theoretical and empirical components. Firstly, the study discusses the basic definitions of spatial relations and organizations. Secondly, the space syntax method was used to test and compare new spatial design approaches by means of the Mean Depth, Mean Integration, Basic Difference Factor and Space Link Ratio values mainly to clarify how the spatiality changes according to the size although the plan type stays the same as 1+1.
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Ayça Arslan, Türkan Ulusu Uraz
Abstract
It has recently come to light that there is an increasing demand for a new type of small house design, which vary in
area from 20 square metres to 100 square metres and even more. Being remarkably different from traditional types of
spatial organizations, the new house types present an open plan concept with a highly flexible and adaptable spatial
arrangement that exhibit diverse functional spaces within one open, integrated space.
In light of this, the main aim of this study is to reveal the new dynamics of spatial organization found in today’s
small house types and identify the significant changes in the contemporary design approaches to small house layouts
which have evolved from a need for minimized space usage and a requirement for diverse living spatiality.
Subsequently, thirty houses have been chosen to be analysed for the purpose of this study to reveal the differences
between integrated and segregated spatial organizations in regard to flexibility, adaptability, transformability and per-
meability within the spaces. In addition to this, the new spatial relations will be overviewed considering spatial depth,
interpenetration and density to define more implicit organizations which are able to expand constantly and accommo-
date different functional spaces in one open space with the help of spatial identifiers.
The main focus of this research study concentrates on the above mentioned dynamic forms of spatiality that change
from being weak to strong, implicit to explicit and indistinct to clearly defined spaces. These forms are measured,
analysed and basically compare by means of a space syntax application on the values of the space and convex maps
of the thirty selected houses.
In summary, the analysis and measurement of the spatial characteristics of contemporary small houses in this
sphere include both theoretical and empirical components. Firstly, the study discusses the basic definitions of spatial
relations and organizations. Secondly, the space syntax method was used to test and compare new spatial design
approaches by means of the Mean Depth, Mean Integration, Basic Difference Factor and Space Link Ratio values main-
ly to clarify how the spatiality changes according to the size although the plan type stays the same as 1+1.
Keywords: Spatiality, Small houses, New spatial organizations, Flexibility, Space Syntax.
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Spatial Depth
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Figure 1. From Implicit to Explicit Space Configurations
(Source: Meiss, 2013)
6 0
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Figure 2. Spatial Decomposition of a Painting by Le
Corbusier (Source: Meiss, 2013).
Figure 4. The Setting for the Plate: Theo Van Doesburg,
‘Maison Particuliere’ (in conjunction with C van Eesteren
‘counter construction’ (Source: Analyse de
l’Architecture,1923).
Figure 3. a) Juxtaposition and Interpenetration, b) Spatial
Juxtaposition and Interpenetration (Source: Meiss, 2013).
Figure 5. Fluid Space Continuum, the Fusion of Interior and
Exterior, Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe: Caine House
Project,1950 (Source: Deplazes, 1997).
6 1
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=FDE6C@C82?:K2E:@?D86?6C2==J6I9:3:E46==F=2C
2?5 C6A6E:E:G6 DA246D E92E 92G6 D:>:=2C 7F?4E:@?D 2?5
244@>>@52E624@>>@?G:DF2=762EFC6DF492D@C:6?
E2E:@?@CD92A69:?8D667:8FC6
:8FC6=FDE6C%C82?:K2E:@?DH:E9'6A6E:E:G6
(A246D2?5@>>@?+:DF2=62EFC6D(@FC469:?8
 )96 E9:CEJ D6=64E65 42D6D @7 DA2E:2= @C82?:K2
E:@?DE92E92G6366?56E6C>:?65@?A=2?D:?E9:DC6D62C49
DEF5J >@DE @7 E96 7:CDE 8C@FA  DB> 6I2>A=6D
6I9:3:E4=FDE6C@C82?:K2E:@?D2?5E962I:2=@C82?:K2E:@?
H2D>@C6AC@7@F?5:?E96=2C86C8C@FAD6?6C2==JE96
7:CDE 2?5 D64@?5 8C@FAD 6I9:3:E 3@E9 4=FDE6C 2?5 2I:2=
DA246 @C82?:K2E:@?D H96C62D E96 E9:C5 8C@FA 6I9:3:ED
>@C6 2I:2=2?5 4C@DD2I:2= @C82?:K2E:@? 2D D9@H? :?
7:8FC6 (2>A=6D@7>8C@FA
(2>A=6D@7>8C@FA
(2>A=6D@7>8C@FA
33C6G:2E:@?D6?EC2?46!<:E496?"=:G:?8C@@>
5:?:?8C@@>'5C6DD:?8C@@>365C@@>
32E9C@@>)E6CC246"=2F?5CJ(DE@C286H4
(A2E:2=:EJ@7(>2==@FD6D
)H@5F2=4@?46AED:?7@C>E96DA2E:2=:EJ@7D>2==9@FD6D
?2>6=J:?E68C2E:@?2?5D68C682E:@?(:>:=2C=JE96C62C6
EH@32D:4H2JD@7249:6G:?8E96D6DA2E:2=:E:6DH9:492C6
G6CJH:56=J2AA=:65:?4@?E6>A@C2CJD>2==9@FD656D:8?
)967:CDE:DE96:?E68C2E:@?@7E96DA246DE9C@F89DA2E:2=
7=6I:3:=:EJ4@?G6I:EJ2?56IA2?523:=:EJE96D64@?5:DE96
D68C682E:@? @7 DA246D E9C@F89 DA2E:2= K@?6D DF49 2D
AF3=:4AC:G2E64@>A2CE>6?ED2?5D6CG:4646==D
?E68C2E:@?E9C@F89(A2E:2==6I:3:=:EJ@?G6I:EJ
2?5IA2?523:=:EJ
DEE7:6=5:?5:42E6DE96‘Less is More’ D=@82?@7
#:6DG2?56C'@96C67=64ED5:C64E=JE96@A6?A=2?4@?
46AE@7>@56C?:DE56D:8?6CD)96@A6?A=2?244@>>@
52E6D 7=6I:3:=:EJ E@ 7:E 6G6C492?8:?8 FD6C 56>2?5D @?
DA2462?58:G6DAC:@C:EJE@7F?4E:@?2D6G6CJ:?49:?E96
9@FD6:D:>A@CE2?EJ<:==:?8@77E96EC25:E:@?2=A2C=@FC
E9:DBF:?E6DD6?E:2=>@56C?DA2E:2=6E9@D6=:>:?2E65H2DE6
@7DA246:?5@>6DE:4:?E6C:@CD2D6G:56?465:?E962==:?
Figure 7. Cluster Organizations with Repetitive Spaces and
Common Visual Features. (Source: Ching, 1996).
Figure 8. Axial / Cross-axial / Cluster Organizations of the
Small House Plans with Different Sizes.
Figure 6. Schemes Of Growth Patterns; 1. axial/cross axial,
2. radial/central (Source: Sullivan,1969).
6 2
JM2CD=2?)PC<2?*=FDF*C2K
@A6?9@FD6:?E6C?2E:@?2=+@=$@ F?6T(>2==@FD6(A2E:2=:EJ@>A2C2E:G6(A246(J?E2IAA=:42E:@?U
@?6=:G:?8C@@>H:E9E96:?E68C2E65D>2==@A6?<:E496?
Flexibility
)9623:=:EJ@73F:=5:?8DE@C6DA@?5E@492?8:?84@?7:8F
C2E:@?D :D DF44:?4E=J 42AEFC65 3J !C@?6?3FC8 
H96?9656D4C:36D7=6I:3=62C49:E64EFC62DTTQ2C49:E64
EFC6 0E92E1 252AED C2E96C E92? DE28?2E6D EC2?D7@C>D
C2E96CE92?C6DEC:4ED:D>@E:G6C2E96CE92?DE2E:4:?E6C24ED
H:E9 :ED FD6CD C2E96C E92? :?9:3:EDUU !C@?6?3FC8
:?923:ED2?5H6=4@>6DE965:G6CD67F?4E:@?D
3J>6=E:?8E96>2DD:G65:G:D:@?D36EH66?E96>H:E9E96
DFAA@CE@73F:=E:?7FC?:EFC62?5>@G23=6A2CE:E:@?D?
@E96CH@C5D2?JDF446DD7F=DA2E:2=56?D:EJH@F=53686?
6C2==J249:6G65E9C@F897=6I:3=6DA246@C82?:K2E:@?
)96>@DE6I6>A=2CJ3F:=5:?8:?E969:DE@CJ@7
#@56C?C49:E64EFC6E92E6I9:3:EDE9:DBF2=:EJ@77=6I:3:=:EJ
:?D>2==9@FD656D:8?:D6CC:E':6EG6=5UD(49CO56C@FD6
:?*EC649EEDUDA2E:2=:EJD9@HDE96C6>2C<23=6492C24E6C
@74@?G6I:EJ2?56IA2?523:=:EJ@7TE96=:G:?8DA246U)96
8C@F?5=6G6=@7E969@FD6H2DA=2??654@?G6?E:@?2==J
E96 FAA6C =6G6= H2D 56D:8?65 2D @?6C@@>=:G:?8 E92E
C6DA@?5D E@ AC24E:42= ?646DD:E:6D H:E9 A2CE:E:@?23=6
DA246DD667:8FC6
J 36:?8 9:89=J 7=6I:3=6 E96 (49CO56C 9@FD6
D66>DE@7F==J249:6G6E96DE2E652>3:E:@?D@7E96>@5
6C?>@G6>6?EUDC6D:56?E:2=56D:8?H:E9E967C66A=2?2D
E96=:36C2E@C@7=:G:?8DA246249:6G653J>@G23=6A2CE:
E:@?D:?255:E:@?E@7:I65H2==D:?E@5:776C6?E4@?7:8FC2
E:@?D
Convexity
44@C5:?8E@'@D6?3FC8E96:?4=FD:@?@73F:=E:?
7FC?:EFC62?5A2CE:E:@?:?83@E9E6?5E@ :?4C62D6DA2E:2=
D68C682E:@?D7:8FC6D9@HDE96@A6?:?8@7E96A2C
E:E:@?D@?E967:CDE7=@@C:?4C62D6DE96:?E68C2E:@?@7DA246D
3FEE96255:E:@?@77FC?:EFC6:?4C62D6DE964@?G6I:EJ2?5
567:?6D E96 DF3DA246D 2?5 E96 D68C682E:@? 2>@?8DE
E96> 2AA62CD H:E9 @C 6G6? H:E9@FE E96 A2CE:E:@?D )96
@A6?A=2?H:E9E967:I657FC?:EFC682:?D9:896C4@?G6I:EJ
2?5 :?4C62D6D E96 9:6C2C49:42= @C56C @7 E96 DA2E:2=:EJ
>@C6DEC@?8=JE92?E96A2CE:E:@?65F?7FC?:D965G6CD:@?
)96255:E:@?@77FC?:EFC6564C62D6DE96A@E6?E:2=7=6I:3:=
:EJ@7E9:D?6HH2J@7=:G:?8)9:DDF886DEDE92E7FC?:EFC6:D
>@C6E92?;FDE2564@C2E:G62?5FD67F=9@FD69@=52CE6
724E:E2=D@4C62E6D2DA2E:2=4@?EC@=H:E9:?E96:?E6C:@C
:8FC6(A246(J?E2I?2=JD6D@7':6EG6=5(49CO56C
@FD6
?E9:DDEF5J4@?G6I>2AH:E97:I657FC?:EFC692D366?
6>A=@J65E@567:?62?52?2=JD6E96K@?6D2?54@>A2CE
>6?EDH9:49567:?6E96D68C682E:@?:?E96DA2E:2=@C82
?:K2E:@?:?E96D>2==9@FD6DE9:D:D7FCE96C6>A=@J657@C
4@>A2C2E:G6DA246DJ?E2I2?2=JD6D
Expandability
EE7:6=56IA=2:?DE96>@56C?:DE@A6?A=2?4@?
46AE2DE96TTQC6DF=E@7AC6D6?E:?8E965@>6DE:4:?E6C:@C
2D2>2E6C:2=>2?:76DE2E:@?@74F=EFC2=DJ>AE@>DE96C6
3J :?:ED56D:8?>2J36H6D9@F=536E9:?<:?8@7:E2D
F?56D:8?65 @C 2 56D:8? H2:E:?8 E@ 92AA6? 2 >F49
>@C6 7=6I:3=6 DA246 E@ C67=64E >@3:=:EJ 2?5 :56?E:EJUU
EE7:6=5
?E964@?E6>A@C2CJD>2==9@FD62==E965:776C
6?E 7F?4E:@?2= 2?5@C 24E:G:EJ DA246D 6I:DE H:E9:? @?6
@A6? A=2? H:E9@FE 2?J DEC:4E 5:49@E@>J 36EH66? 7@C
:?DE2?46E96AF3=:42?5AC:G2E62C62DE96<:E496?5:?
:?8C@@>365C@@>=:G:?8C@@>DEF5J?:496)+F?:E2==
@44FCH:E9:?@?6G@=F>6@7DA246H:E9E9696=A@74@?
G6I:EJ @7 DF3DA246D J @G6C=2AA:?8 E96 6IE6?565
DA246D 9@FD6 D:K6D 86E 3:886C 7C@> E:>6 E@ E:>6 2?5
6IA2?5>@C6E92?E96:C24EF2=A9JD:42=DBF2C6>6E6CD
Figure 9. The Rietveld Schröder House, Utrecht, the
Nederlands (1924-5) (Source: Flexible Architecture that
Respond to Change, Laurence King Publishing, 2007: 27)
Figure 10. Space Syntax Analyses of Rietveld Schröder
House.
6 3
@A6?9@FD6:?E6C?2E:@?2=+@=$@ F?6T(>2==@FD6(A2E:2=:EJ@>A2C2E:G6(A246(J?E2IAA=:42E:@?U JM2CD=2?)PC<2?*=FDF*C2K
? 7:8FC6  E96 8C@HE9 @7 9@>6 DA246 :?
DBF2C6>6E6CD7C@>DB>E@DB>@44FCD3J
D6BF6?E:2=6IE6?D:@?DE967:CDEDE286:D<:E496?6IE6?D:@?
!H96C6E969@FD6D:K68C@HDE@DB>E96
D64@?5 DE286 :D =:G:?8 C@@> 6IE6?D:@? "! E96
9@FD6D:K68C@HDE@DB>H:E928C@HE9A6C
46?E286 :? E@E2= ? E96 D>2== 9@FD6 :? 7:8FC6  E96
8C@HE9@7E969@>6UDDBF2C65DA2467C@>DB>E@
 DB>@44FC 3J =:G:?8 C@@> :?E68C2E:@? H:E9 
8C@HE9A6C46?E286
? D>2==6C 9@FD6 D:K6D 6IA2?523:=:EJ 2AA62CD
AC@>:?6?E=J 2D :?5:42E65 3J E96 D2>A=6D :? E96 
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(667:8FC623
Figure 12. Born-City-1+1, Extension:44.5 to 55 sqm2;
stage 1: Separated spaces 44.5 sqm2; stage 2: Living
room int. 55 sqm2: %23.5 Growth.
Figure 11. My-Via-414-1+1, Extension: 32.9 sqm2 to 48.5
sqm2; stage 1: Separated spaces 32.9 sqm2; stage 2:
kitchen extended (K+E)39.8 sqm2; stage 3: living room
extended (L+K+E) 48.5 sqm2: %47.4 Growth.
Figure 13. a) Nef Points 98, type 1+1H. b) Nef Points 98,
type 1+1I. (Source: Gülmez & Uraz, 2015
6 4
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Table 1. Definition of Private-Public Compartments and
Service Cells of the Selected Plans from Three Groups.
Figure 14. The shallow bush and the deeper ringy (unilin-
ear sequence) complex have the same mean and overall
integration. The difference between them lies in how inte-
gration is distributed (Hanson,1998)
6 5
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#2:?:?5:?8D
Growth Percentage of Sizes: The plan analysis of the thir-
ty small houses indicates that the biggest growth per-
centage is found in the first group, 20-40 sqm2 houses
with 33.4% by the extension of kitchen into living room
from time to time. The growth phase was as follows: a)
kitchen extensions, b) living room integrations, c) bed-
room integration.
The first group which is also the smallest 20-40
sqm2, exhibits a bigger growth stage by an implicit char-
acter of spaces, a cluster spatial organization growth, an
open kitchen integration and soft dividers between dif-
ferent functional spaces using multifunctional equipment.
Generally, it is found that all kitchens exhibit an extension
to the living room when not in original use and all dining
spaces are used as work spaces by introducing multi-
functional furniture. In addition, living rooms integrated
with open kitchens during original purpose of cooking
and dining show that transparent visibility continues
between living and kitchen spaces. The second group of
40-70 sqm2 houses exhibit less growth with 21.96% and
is closer to the third group results with 26.53%. The
closeness of these two groups indicates that they exhibit
more similar spatial organization with their axial types;
their spatial structures are less implicit and their borders
of spaces are more defined.
Mean Integration (RA): throughout these results, the inte-
gration value exhibits a significant increase 20-
40sqm2=0.41< 70-100sqm2= 0.44 < 40-
70sqm2=0.47 implying from the first to the third group
followed by the second group. This increase indicates
that 20-40 sqm2 houses exhibit the lowest RA value
which means that houses at this group are the most inte-
grated ones with most implicit character and third group
with 0.44 integration value which is close to first group
also accommodate high integrated spatial character too.
The second group, 40-70 sqm2 houses having the high-
est integration value of 0.47 indicates that the houses are
not as integrated as in the first and third groups therefore
giving evidence of a more segregated spatial organiza-
tion achieved by clearly segregated public and private
compartments.
Mean Depth (MD): the comparative result indicates 20-
40sqm2=2.50< 40-70sqm2=2.65 < 70-
100sqm2=3.45; showing an increase in the mean
depth values from 20 sqm2 to 100 sqm2 overall. This
increase shows a spatial organization change from an
implicit to an explicit way, from shallower to deeper
space organizations where all houses are 1+1 type.
Consequently, there must be an increase of the abstract-
ly defined spaces (without walls) of the houses (not
enclosed) where the 20-40 sqm2 group exhibits the most
implicit space character because of the non-existence of
Figure 16. Ten 40-70 m2 Small Houses Space Maps with
Justified Graphs
Figure 15. Ten 20-40 m2 Small Houses Space Maps with
Justified Graphs.
Figure 17. Ten 70-100 m2 Small Houses Space Maps with
Justified Graphs
6 6
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walls. The 40-70 sqm2 group shows a less implicit space
and the 70-100 sqm2 reveals a more explicit space char-
acter with a deeper spatial structure indicating an exis-
tence of different compartments as public and private.
Difference Factor (BDF): the results of BDF values shows
an increase 20-40 sqm2=0.54 < 40-70sqm2 =0.56 <
70-100sqm2=0.79, 20-40 sqm2 houses exhibiting a
strong difference between spaces as well as in 40-70
sqm2 houses, whereas 70-100 sqm2 houses show the
highest BDF and less difference which accommodates a
better homogeneity of spaces. Furthermore, the 70-100
sqm2 group has adaptation ability and flexibility as much
as the 20-40 sqm2 group but in a different way, rather
within the compartments.
Space Link Ratio (SLR) (Choice): the results of SLR among
the three groups 40-70sqm2=1.19< 20-40
sqm2=1.23< 70-100 sqm2=1.24 shows that the third
group of 70-100 sqm2 houses has the biggest SLR value
which means liberality and free spatial organization exist
in the houses without movement controls and restrictions
offering extra routes and links between spaces even
helps the unexpected indirect connection between the
opposite compartments.
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... En cuanto al estudio de la profundidad, los ejes viales menos profundos, se encuentran en el centro de ciudad, Arslan realizó un estudio en treinta casas para ser analizadas a los efectos de este estudio para revelar las diferencias considerando la profundidad espacial, la interpenetración y la densidad para definir organizaciones más implícitas que puedan expandirse constantemente y acomodar diferentes espacios funcionales en un espacio abierto con la ayuda de identificadores espaciales (Arslan, 2017). ...
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El presente estudio es de tipo no experimental, transversal y descriptivo y tiene como objetivo explicar la relación existente entre la morfología urbana de la ciudad y los ejes viales que la componen, mediante un análisis de sintaxis espacial implementando la herramienta Depthmax. Entre los primeros resultados se destaca que los ejes viales con mayor conectividad se encuentran ubicados en el norte, centro y suroeste de la ciudad; los ejes viales con mayor integración y profundidad se localizan al norte; y los de mayor elección en el centro. Para finalizar, se concluye que mediante la sintaxis espacial es factible analizar las posibles aperturas de zonas verdes; que, gracias a la configuración espacial, la primordial pauta de movilidad de los sujetos, permite realizar modificaciones de peatonización en ámbitos de interés.
... Due to its ability to quantify the spatial formation, it makes an excellent tool to analyze spatial forms in relation to socio-cultural factors such as privacy, gender segregation, and hospitality, which in turn can be used to explore the impact of these factors on the spatial DNA of traditional houses. The theory is very well-know and has been utilized in a large number of fields that are beyond counting, see for example (El-Darwish, 2022;Urbina, 2021;Güngör & Aslan , 2020;Abdul Nasir, et al., 2020;Arslan & Uraz, 2017;Abbasi , Alalouch, & Bramley, 2016;Barros, Silva, & Holanda, 2007;Rashid, et al., 2005;Hillier, Penn, Hanson, Grajewski, & Xu, 1993). There are several methods that can be listed under the umbrella of space syntax such as Convex maps, Justified map (j-graphs), Visibility Graph Analysis (VGA), Axial lines/maps, segment analysis, and agent analysis. ...
Conference Paper
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In the era of globalization, technology, and environmental sustainability requirements, domestic buildings are conceptualized, designed, and constructed with little attention being given to the socio-cultural dimension. This is in spite of the importance of this dimension in creating a truly sustainable and resilient built environment. The socio-cultural dimension was often one of the main drivers behind the vernacular architecture and formed a major part of the identity of the society. However, studies in the field of vernacular architecture have traditionally focused on the documentation, conservation, and rehabilitation strategies while the configurational structures of these houses are often neglected. The need for a proper understanding of the social logic impeded in traditional houses is, therefore, indisputable. By focusing on Oman, this study aims to explore whether traditional houses share a common "spatial DNA" across the different climatic zones of the country in order to inform the development of a distinctive architectural identity for contemporary house typologies. The study employs Space Syntax methodology to quantify the spatial structure of six traditional Omani houses, which cover the three climatic zones of Oman. This was followed by an analytical-comparative exploration and a systematic categorization of the spaces in these houses based on their syntactic characteristics. The results showed that the spatial arrangements of the sample share common spatial features that correspond to the custom of the society. However, these common spatial features are limited to local measures. The study concludes that the spatial identity of traditional houses should be further studied so it could be incorporated into the contemporary house typology in order to preserve the spatial identity that corresponds to people's values, aspirations, and socio-cultural needs.
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The pondok school system was the earliest in the Malay Archipelago that focused on Islamic studies. The teaching method which stressed on group communication was said to have given rise to integrated space within a building thereby influencing its architecture and spatial design. Two of such schools, almost a century old in Pattani, Thailand, have been used as case studies to measure the influence of communication and integrated space on the interior layout. Data from interviews congruent with floor plans is the crucial reference as to the significance of integrated space. Studies have shown that emphasis on communication in the pedagogy of the traditional pondok school is the main creator of the integrated space, and this gave priority to the positioning and size, and subsequently influencing the overall floor plan.
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