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An Investigation of House Designs in Lahore: Transformation of Residential Architecture from traditional to modern

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Many historic cities display the expression of individual and cultural identity as a common phenomenon in house designs; this paper inspects it in context of Lahore city. Study is focused on architectural transformation of house designs based on lifestyles of different time periods in Lahore. The objective is to highlight the key modifications in designing of houses over time period of half century. It is believed that home is the most endearing structure to be built given the poignant connection of dwellers to their living spaces. In Lahore, houses show diverse architectural profile as a result of socioeconomic changes and global influences; these demand to investigate the present prototype of traditional versus modern house design in Lahore. A case study of traditional as well as modern house was conducted using field inspection and typological analysis. Findings of such design focused research provide helpful insights for practitioners and academicians of contemporary architecture in Lahore and other likewise cities, about major spatial and design alterations in order to achieve a balanced approach in residential architecture.
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49 Journal of Design and Built Environment, Vol19(1), April 2019 Malik, S. et al.
An Investigation of House Designs in Lahore:
Transformation of Residential Architecture from
traditional to modern
Sana Malik1,2*, Ku Azhar Ku Hassan3
1PhD Candidate, School of Housing, Building & Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800
Penang, Malaysia
2Assistant Professor (Study leave), School of Architecture & Planning, University of
Management & Technology, Lahore, Pakistan
3Associate Professor, School of Housing, Building & Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia,
11800, Penang, Malaysia
*sana.malik@umt.edu.pk
Received : 29 April 2018 Final Version Received: 19 March 2019
Many historic cities display the expression of individual and cultural identity as a common
phenomenon in house designs; this paper inspects it in context of Lahore city. Study is focused
on architectural transformation of house designs based on lifestyles of different time periods in
Lahore. The objective is to highlight the key modifications in designing of houses over time
period of half century. It is believed that home is the most endearing structure to be built given
the poignant connection of dwellers to their living spaces. In Lahore, houses show diverse
architectural profile as a result of socio-economic changes and global influences; these demand
to investigate the present prototype of traditional versus modern house design in Lahore. A case
study of traditional as well as modern house was conducted using field inspection and
typological analysis. Findings of such design focused research provide helpful insights for
practitioners and academicians of contemporary architecture in Lahore and other likewise cities,
about major spatial and design alterations in order to achieve a balanced approach in residential
architecture.
Keywords: Lahore, Residential Architecture, Transformation, Traditional Houses, Modern
Houses.
1. INTRODUCTION
Pakistan has rich historical and cultural texture
of architecture. Housing design incorporates
social, economic, personal and intellectual
concentrations beyond what is seen as built
construction. This association with house design
prompts stakeholders to apply modern as well as
traditional dynamics resulting in complicated
schema of house design eventually. The very
existence of an individual cannot be thought
without a house. In popular imagination, a house
is a building which has kitchen, a bathroom,
bedroom, and a lounge built to provide shelter
and protection (Chauhan et al., 2009). Also, it
reflects the social norms and aesthetic manners
of a family from two aspects: from interior,
through the adjustments of spaces and from
exterior, through architectural features of the
facade. The practice of building modern houses
has become excessive in Lahore, the second
largest city of Pakistan.
Within its context, a variety of architectural
styles is observed in the planning and facades
design of house. This assorted nature of designs
has created confusion in establishing the
vernacular architecture of houses. A common
inspection reveals that some homeowners are
can go for unique designs for decorating
overhead water tanks (Fig. 1). Traditional
designs are disappearing from the face of
residential patterns in Lahore and are being
replaced by modern designs. There is dire need
to scrutinize the adaptation of traditional house
design versus modern house design. Due to lack
of such research, this study aims to develop
insight into the transformation of house design in
Lahore from traditional to modern. Presently, the
50 Journal of Design and Built Environment, Vol19(1), April 2019 Malik, S. et al.
trends in housing design are inclined more
towards western pattern of architecture and
planning, irrespective of understanding the
regional demand of residential designing.
Therefore, it is important to recall the
constructed examples of houses that survived the
natural and environmental tests over the years. A
concurrent study combining the case of modern
house design with traditional one, would help
document the degree of transformation in
residential architecture in the city.
Fig. 1: Design of Overhead Water Tank in
Lahore, Source: Author.
2. RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECTURE OF
LAHORE
Lahore is second largest city of Pakistan and
holds great significance due to its rich cultural,
political and architectural history. Architecture
of city has undergone remarkable
transformations due to three major chronological
periods, i.e., Mughal, British Colonial, and Post-
Independence. During the pre-colonial times, the
British had looked upon Lahore as a very
fragmented space, divided into different
institutional, public, professional and communal
categories (Shafique & Shahid, 2016). Like all
ancient cities, Lahore also has two faces, the old
and the new; the old city is the reminiscent of the
past glory of Lahore and the new city gives a
modern look (Mubin, Gilani & Hasan,
2013).Traditional house design in Lahore is a
prominent feature of the local architectural style
due to its prolonged association with historical
context. Housing units are further divided into
different categories depending on income and
family size of the home owners. Traditional
houses consists of attached and detached homes.
A short account of these categories is given
below.
2.1 ATTACHED TRADITIONAL HOUSES
The city hosts various historical monuments,
buildings and gardens along with a walled city
during the Mughal era (15241752) and British
colonial rule (Rana & Bhatti, 2018). The Walled
City also known as called Androon Shehar in
native language, was the prime social and
economic center of the city during that time. The
houses had strong architectural features like
‘jharokas’ (balconies) and detailed ornamental
features. These attached houses were packed
units with less covered area and small room sizes
respectively. The approach for attached houses
was considered to be sustainable in terms of
climatic conditions and strong community
development. Batool (2014) specified that
traditional buildings maintained thermal comfort
though architectural elements like jalis (screens),
verandas, jharokas (balconies), fountains, plants,
chajjas (overhangs), courtyards, and basements.
Shared walls of houses and narrow streets tend
to encourage daily neighborhood interaction
creating a sense of security and safety while
people used to sit at doors and outside. Nevile
(2006) referred to this culture of joint family as
the accepted norm, and true, to the socialist ideal
of sharing all things together, people enjoyed the
pleasures of the housetop in equal measure. The
houses, though lofty and to all appearances well
built from the outside, yet cramped inside and ill-
ventilated. Attached houses of the walled city
started to lose their popularity with end of
Mughal Period and the invasion of British rulers,
and then Lahore started to develop in another
direction of town planning.
2.2 DETACHED TRADITIONAL HOUSES
The model of detachable houses promoted the
idea of open dwelling spaces surrounded by open
passages and gardens in front of the house. To
live in such a space where a separate identity of
one’s house could be celebrated easily was a sign
of prestige. Before the independence of Pakistan,
the Indian residents, who arrived to live in Model
Town, developed houses on their own. For
instance, at that time houses were built as single-
story British bungalows. Bhardwaj and Garg
(2016) described that the bungalow typically
consisted of a low, one storey, spacious building,
internally divided into separate living, dining
andbedrooms, the latter with attached rooms for
bathing. The British style incorporates many of
the features of the ‘grand’ classical style, adapted
to become normal in shop houses; including iron
grilles, dormers, balconies, pediments, pilasters,
keystones and arches (Ovais, 2016). Courtyard
51 Journal of Design and Built Environment, Vol19(1), April 2019 Malik, S. et al.
houses are also types of detached houses in
Lahore context. Noble (1987) described centered
courtyards in the square and rectangular houses
that were seem invariably to be surrounded by a
veranda or by a shaded space, with some houses
partially extending outward as far as the outer
walls. This historical house type came into use to
address the harsh weather in the region. Not only
do courtyard houses portray a form of
architectural style in residential building, but
they also depict a way of life. The rooms located
around the courtyard ensured strong family
bonding and interaction. The central open space
is the dominant feature of the entire house at
every celebratory function because of its central
orientation. Lodi et al. (2013) further analyzed
that the height of walls varies from 9-12 feet in
height for warmer climatic zones with
ventilation at the top, and lower for colder zones
to keep the interior warm.
2.3 MODERN HOUSES
Recent studies have established that the
development and spread of gated neighborhoods
has become a part of new housing scheme.
Lahore has approximately 40 gated
neighborhoods which are inhabited, and few
more are currently under construction.
(Rahmaan & Anis, 2009). Vandal (2011)
described that the housing typology launched
through government houses schemes in Lahore
such as Officer’s houses in Military Cantonment
Area, Officers houses for Railways, and others
changed the concept of living dramatically from
attached to detached house type. The inverted
two-story bungalow (colonial prototype)
proclaims the socially accepted model of living
in the current scenario countrywide. This
paradigm has contributed in creating social
inequity among the inhabitants of Lahore city.
The current house model lacks the concerns of
common man and do not fit in a neighborhood
setting of Lahore. The modernity and
contemporary trends in living style are changing
the old customs of practice in building and
construction. This has resulted in transforming
the patterns of spatial planning and architectural
forms.
The design shift proved an economical
alternative for constructing several houses with a
low design profile in comparison to traditional
houses with exaggerated ornamentation. Qureshi
(2015) asserted that, at present, though the
construction materials, layout and family setup
of houses are similar to each other, a variety of
front facades are visible throughout the city.
However, the low percentage of houses reflects
a balanced approach of house design as a
combination of traditional and modern patterns,
in lieu of which Qadeer (1983) reported that
house designs combine modern and traditional
features in a harmonious blend. Modern design
features include rectangular plans with plain
concrete slab, squarish appearances with
nominal decoration, low ceiling heights, large
windows, and controlled circulation by
compacting the space planning. Whereas
Burgess (2005) focused on the fact that
community houses, group houses, or apartment
houses are more and more required by our
modern nomadic ways of life. Hence, in near
future, this could signal reverting back to the
concept of attached houses.
2.4 FACTORS INFLUENCING
RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECTURE OF
LAHORE
Various factors influence residential spaces.
However, in recent times, the housing tendencies
are observed to be more subjective to
globalization, regulatory frameworks and other
cultural aspects. Following factors are derived
from personal observation on behalf of the
current market trends.
2.4.1 GLOBALIZATION
Technological advancements in economic and
social processes formulate the most profound
factor in order to alter the architectural trends of
a region. International brands of food, fashion,
building construction industry, electronics, and
furniture etc., hold extraordinary presence in the
eyes of the general public when they hit the local
markets. All of these brands demand their space
in an architectural setting and play an important
role in manipulating the daily living style.
2.4.2 EXPOSURE
Exposure to international styles of architecture
plays an important role in shaping up the
residential design. Internet and
Telecommunication industry has made the
majority of common people familiar with
various western trends of home space design. In
addition to this, travelling leaves an exclusive
impression in minds of people. This retained
experience changes the perception in a creative
manner. Such an exercise prompts the involved
stakeholders to be more imaginative with their
house designing ideas and abandon the
traditional format of house design.
52 Journal of Design and Built Environment, Vol19(1), April 2019 Malik, S. et al.
2.4.3 SOCIAL TENDENCY
The people living in Lahore have a great
tendency to inspire from one another about
house design and construction. This social habit
of inclination among Lahoris (people of Lahore)
plays decisive role, sometimes when they start
planning to construct their dream home. Such
attribute sometimes even result in executing the
whole layout and design of house as carbon copy
of another house on the same street or as replica
of some family member’s house.
2.4.4 CUSTOMIZATION
There is a high level of involvement in house
design from the client as compared to an
architect. Such a practice is greatly affecting the
image of residential architecture of Lahore.
Eventually, customized design proposal will be
dominated by a client rather than an architect’s
draft. It is now common for a client to format the
ingredients of house design such as space
requirement, color combinations, façade style,
bedrooms size and the kitchen detailing. In some
ways, this exercise eradicates the pure role to be
played by architect in the design process.
2.4.5 BUILDING REGULATIONS
Aspect of Building regulations is one of the
factors behind, affecting the house designs in
Lahore. Such regulations feature the rules and
guidelines from concerned development
authority. Thorough consideration of these
regulations is required for official approval of
house construction. Floor area ratios and
setbacks from the periphery of plot, alter the
residential outcome under such obligations.
Similar is the case of regulatory framework
being implemented in study area of Lahore
(Fig 2). Due to this restriction, many aspects of
sustainable design and deep beauty fall short.
Consequently, the integration of sun and wind
direction becomes missing factor in the design
scheme of a house.
Fig. 2: Building Regulations for residential plots in Lahore, Source: (Lahore Development Authority,
2017
3. RESEARCH METHOD
Current research is a qualitative study inspecting
the degree of transformation in house designs of
Lahore from traditional to modern. The case
study was carried out through field work in the
form of pictures and architectural drawings.
Typological analysis was applied to carefully
investigate the spatial layouts and planning of
selected houses. To effectively study the
transformation in house design, individual cases
of traditional and modern house designs in
Lahore city were selected. Typological analysis
included ratios of covered and uncovered area,
53 Journal of Design and Built Environment, Vol19(1), April 2019 Malik, S. et al.
spatial planning and arrangement of rooms
inside the house, circulation spaces, and location
of staircase, etc. Further elaboration of design
aspects includes the facade design and
ornamental characteristics on house elevation.
Nonetheless, Lahore is home to a huge number
of traditional and modern houses yet to be
discovered. Since the proposed study is quite
specific in examining transformation of house
design, a single model of traditional and modern
houses was preferred. However, concern issues
of local house designs can be generalized
through this limited study to illustrate a
necessary picture of design transformation in
houses of Lahore. The analysis of the qualified
transformation is documented through a
comparative typological analysis of traditional
and modern houses. The detached house type
(Model Town, Lahore) was selected as the case
study for traditional type, while house (Defense
Housing Authority-DHA, Lahore) was chosen
for the modern one. It was make sure that
selected houses should match with housing
society location. Both Model Town and DHA are
considered to be well-known for their historical
and modern context in Lahore. (traditional) and
current decade (modern) through spatial layout
inspection and façade setting.
4. TYPOLOGICAL ANALYSIS:
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
The different features of house designs for
traditional and modern categories are discussed
in detail. However, a brief summary of the
typological Analysis as given in the following
table will help in understanding the key points of
transformation in the designing of dwelling
spaces in Lahore.
Table1: A summary of documented Architectural transformations in traditional and modern house
designs of Lahore, Pakistan. Source:
Architectural and
Spatial Patterns
Traditional House
Modern House
Location
Model Town, Lahore
Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Lahore
Plot Size
122 feet x 153 feet
50 feet x 90 feet
By Laws Applied
No strict By laws
Strict by laws applied (15 feet from front,
5feet from all three sides of plot)
Ratio of Covered
and Open Areas
Dominance of Open Space, encouraged the
assortment of indoor space with outdoor
lawn
More Covered Area, Less Open Spaces
Spatial Planning
Podium, Side lawns, Back Central
courtyard. Single-Story Structure
Entrance lobby, formal spaces (Drawing &
dinning) followed by informal spaces (living
& bedrooms)
Quality of Walls
load bearing walls of 13.5 inches thickness
Load bearing walls of 9 inches thickness
Staircase Design
Outdoor location, simple paint finish
Indoor Location, Marble Finish with a
stylish handrail made of polished wood and
glass
Lightening &
Ventilation
Natural lighting and ventilation through the
inner courtyard. High ceiling heights with
ventilator helps in dispersing warm
Private lifestyle, Mechanical Lightening &
Ventilation (Air conditioning). Less
dependence on natural sources of lightening.
Doors and
Windows
Double set of frames in windows & doors,
enables dual opening scheme towards both
indoor and outdoor, along with light
decoration.
Sliding windows are more in fashion.
Modern door designs incorporates latest
materials.
Façade Design
Controlled ornamentation and detailing,
Neglected maintenance of the exterior
façade, Paint finish material. Humble
depiction of Doric columns.
Play of volumes through projection and
depression of straight and diagonal forms.
application of combination of latest
contemporary exterior materials
Miscellaneous
features
Angeethi (Fireplace), Plaster decorative
features on the ceiling at fan point
Wall Treatments (Abstract patterns
embedded with modern industrial finishes
backed with diffused artificial lighting),
modern fireplace with sleek finish of black
granite
54 Journal of Design and Built Environment, Vol19(1), April 2019 Malik, S. et al.
4.1 COVERED AREA AND OPEN AREA
RATIO
The covered area and open area ratio is very
important with reference to spatial planning of a
house. The plot size used to be bigger for
traditional houses and was not subject to severe
regulations of the housing authority. This
encouraged the assortment of indoor space with
outdoor lawn. The plot sizes were bigger in
Model Town: the plot size of the selected
traditional house is 122 feet x 153 feet. The
shaded area shows the spacious front and side
lawn with a setback of 35 feet from the boundary
wall (upper, Fig. 3). Also, the courtyard at the
back of house showcases an open space with a
side entrance from the lawn. Hence, the open
area is dominant over the covered area giving a
spacious look to the house (lower, Fig. 3).
Fig. 3. Site plan of Traditional House
(upper)and View Of Side Lawn (lower),
Source: Author
For modern houses, dwelling is being
constructed according to building regulations of
respective housing authority. In case of modern
house, the concerned authority was Defense
Housing Authority (DHA) providing regulatory
framework for a plot of 4500 square feet (50 feet
x 90 feet) with a setback of 5feet offset from all
three sides and 15 feet from the front side of the
plot facing the road. Such a customary aspect of
modern housing has restricted the engagement of
open areas with indoor spaces (Fig. 4).
Fig. 4. Site plan of Modern house, Source:
Author
4.2 SPATIAL PLANNING
The traditional house is attributed with a podium
followed by an entrance lobby for welcoming
and receiving guests in a casual style. This
depicts a true sign of a detached house concept
developed for the elite class of Model Town. The
rooms were placed parallel along the central
corridor. This corridor opened onto the courtyard
through the intermediate space of verandah
(covered passageway). The courtyard is placed
as the central point of covered area with rooms
on three sides and a staircase on fourth side
thatleads to the roof. Servant quarters were
55 Journal of Design and Built Environment, Vol19(1), April 2019 Malik, S. et al.
observed at the back corner within the courtyard
(Fig. 5.A).
Fig.5A: Traditional House Plan
These features of spatial planning of detached
traditional houses of Model Town were best
described by Sengupta (2007): ‘the front of the
house followed the British pattern of flowerbed
bordered garden, verandah, drawing & dining
rooms, the back had the local features of
courtyard, kitchen, multipurpose rooms for
sitting and sleeping in. Spaces inside the modern
house were placed in closed manner, unlike the
traditional house. This portrays inclination
towards privacy and security in daily life. The
direct entry without any transitional space in
modern house guarantees the acute availability
of spaces. This is to fulfill the space
requirements of present residential trend of
accommodating five bedrooms. The modern
house plan exposed that formal areas of the
drawing room and dining room along with
powder room were placed in the first section of
modern house areas planning. This was followed
by semiformal area of living room and finally,
the plan ended into private section like
bedrooms. This approach is missing in
traditional house with courtyard. Over the time,
with the influence of globalization, these
priorities have now become standards in house
design. The striking feature in modern day house
is the provision of powder room which is toilet
area for guests. Efficient use of indoor space has
been ensured by putting guest toilet under the
landing of staircase. Also, it indicates of
restricted movement of strangers and visitors in
the house (Fig. 5.B).
Fig.5B: Modern House Floor Plan
In the case of a traditional house, horizontal
expansion is a salient feature as the density of
public houses was low in the first few years after
independence. Vertical expansion is now a
common practice in house construction as
residential land is getting more expensive due to
rapid urbanization. The first floor has now
become a compulsory component of modern
housing in Lahore. Servant quarters were
accommodated in first floor of modern house in
contrast to the old location in a traditional house
on the ground floor adjacent to the courtyard
(Fig. 5.C).
Fig.5C: Modern House First Floor Plan
56 Journal of Design and Built Environment, Vol19(1), April 2019 Malik, S. et al.
4.3 QUALITY OF WALLS
Brick masonry has been used as construction
method for about a century and it still has
maintained its reputation in new construction
projects in many cities of Pakistan. The thickness
of load bearing walls is generally considered to
be 13.5 inches. Similarly, traditional house
design also provides wall thickness of 13.5
inches thick walls for this reason. However, in
modern day construction, brick masonry having
walls of around 9 inches thickness, was found for
a light-weight roof. Thinner brick walls and
lower ceiling heights as modern construction
practices are, then maintained through
innovative ways of mechanical heating and
cooling to survive the extreme hot and cold
seasons.
4.4 STAIRCASE DESIGN
The staircase is a main element in house design
as it is a source of vertical movement between
the ground floor and first floor. Also, it is
considered to be a transition point in
architectural planning and design of any building
type. In the case of a traditional house, the
staircase was found as part of the courtyard
leading to roof-top. The ultimate look of a
staircase was unrefined with a simple paint finish
(upper, Fig. 6). On the other hand, a staircase
was placed as fragment of internal planning for
modern house, satisfying the present concerns of
comfort and security. In addition to this, this
placement of staircase provides an easy source
access to the upper story and rooftop in case of
extreme weather conditions. A lavish finished
look is blended with a stylish handrail made of
polished wood and glass as a decorative feature
for modern staircase. Lush black marble in
polished form is used as a finish for the steps
(lower, Fig. 6).
Fig.6.Traditional (Upper) and Modern
Staircases (Lower), Source: Author
4.5 LIGHTENING & VENTILATION
Natural lighting and ventilation are meant to be
an integral part of traditional houses through the
inner courtyard. It has proven to be an efficient
source of directing natural breezes and sunlight
into surrounding rooms and corridors. Another
understanding behind, is to manage the extreme
nature of weather in the Lahore region. This
connects to the antique practice of naturally
operated methods of heating and cooling by
preceding generations. In present case of
traditional house, the passageway was well-lit
during the daytime due to secondary transparent
door of wire gauze, in addition to main entrance
door of solid wood, acting as a source of light
and ventilation (upper, Fig. 7). Heights of
traditional ceilings were observed to be high
with a ventilator at the top level to assist in
dispersing warm air. It maintains cooler
environment inside the house (lower, Fig. 7).
Fig. 7. Entrance Passageway of Traditional
House (upper) and Traditional Ventilator
(lower), Source: Author
Nowadays, people want to have more privacy;
this attitude has caused a shift in lifestyle from
outdoor to indoor spaces. This paradigm has
reduced dependence on natural light. In a
modern house, artificial lighting is a major focus
of interior design. Quality of indoor space is
maintained through chandeliers and false
lighting on the wall in an artificial manner.
Furthermore, usage of curtains on windows has
also restricted cross ventilation (Fig. 8). An air
conditioner was mounted on the wall of a lounge
to maintain a cooler environment inside. No
doubt, all these small details of architectural
design truly play an important role in shaping
patterns of our daily lives.
57 Journal of Design and Built Environment, Vol19(1), April 2019 Malik, S. et al.
Fig. 8. Modern Living room, Source: Author
4.6 DOORS AND WINDOWS
The doors and windows are the key apertures in
the building envelope and hold great potential
from an architectural design point of view. The
door and window designs provide a room of
creativity. The fenestration of a traditional house
was proposed in a decorative and ornamental
manner (upper left, fig. 9). The hinged apertures
(doors and windows) made of two wooden
frames, embrace casing of both wire gauze and
glass separately in the same place. This double
set of frames enables the dual opening scheme
towards both indoor and outdoor (upper right,
Fig. 9). The doors and windows are relatively
less decorated in the case of a modern house.
Fig. 9. Traditional Window (Upper Left),
Traditional Door (Upper Right), Modern
Window (Lower Left) and Modern Door
(Lower Right), Source: Author
Contrary to a traditional window, there was one
single aluminum frame with embedded glass
installed, for a modern type of window (lower
left, Fig. 9). Based on function and location of
the window in the house, it can be either open or
fixed. Presently, sliding windows are more
fashionable than conventional windows with
hinges. The door design incorporates latest
materials with decorative features of glass-paper
patterns. Modern door composed of polished
wood and glass, was single framed with a
stainless steel handle (lower right, Fig. 9).
4.7 FAÇADE DESIGN
The exterior look of traditional houses is usually
characterized by architectural detailing and
ornamental features. The traditional house of
post-independence period exemplified the
architecture with controlled ornamentation and
detailing. Neglected maintenance of the exterior
facade has left house with a crude look. Paint
finish was applied as conventional material. A
humble depiction of Doric columns was
accompanied with screen patterns on the upper
frame of the front face of the façade. The
ornamentation consists of limited detail of
overhangs and window frames (upper, Fig. 10)
Fig. 10. Facade of Traditional House (Upper)
and .Facade of Modern House (Lower), Source:
Author
58 Journal of Design and Built Environment, Vol19(1), April 2019 Malik, S. et al.
The front elevation of the house is a parameter
for prediction of architectural style. Exposure to
the international market of architecture and the
need for speedy construction has attracted
architects and designers to a modern
architectural style. The play of volumes through
projection and depression of straight and
diagonal forms are now trendy choices for house
elevations. Such design patterns are easy to
construct quickly compared to ornamental and
detailed designs. Therefore, modern house
elevation was recognized perhaps as an example
of globalization with the application of the latest
industrial exterior materials used for the front
façade of a modern house (lower, Fig. 10).
4.8 MISCELLANEOUS FEATURES
A variety of prominent features of architecture
and interior design can be discussed for both
traditional and modern houses. Traditionally, the
ceiling was featured with slight ornamentation at
the fan point, establishing a focal point in the
overhead plane (Fig. 11.A). The concept of
angeethi’ (traditional fire place) was fixed as
conventional means of keeping space warm
inside the living room. Here, angeethi had
projected mass with minor detailing on the top,
finished with a combination of plain and
patterned tile in the lounge area (Fig. 11.B). In
modern house design, the architectural features
inside the house fall within the category of
interior design under current trends of residential
industry. Important design elements included
false ceilings, wall treatments, and fire-places.
Abstract patterns embedded with modern
industrial finishes, emphasized through diffused
artificial lighting, give a lively feeling to a dead
wall (Fig. 11.C). A modern fireplace had a sleek
finish of black granite and created a contrast to
the back wall (Fig. 11.D).
(A) Ceiling Feature (B) Angeethi
(C) Wall Treatment (D) Modern Fire-place
Fig. 11. Design Features of Traditional and
Modern Houses of Lahore, Source: Author
5. CONCLUSIONS
The expression of individual and cultural
identity in house design reflects the architectural
value of the past, present and the future.
However, traditional houses are considered to be
more popular as the prototypes of environmental
and cultural heritage of Lahore. Transformation
of residential architecture was analyzed, based
on the typological investigation of two types,
traditional and modern. The changes were
observed in every section of architectural
planning and house designing. Open spaces were
incorporated with enclosed areas in traditional
houses. On the contrary, privacy and comfort
were the focuses for modern houses. Ratio of
covered area in a plot was relatively less in a
traditional house when compared to the modern
one. Space planning was compact for a modern
house with efficient use of dead space. Brick
walls were thicker for a traditional house. A
prominent change had been observed for the
location of a staircase from outside (traditional)
to inside (modern).
A traditional house was more environmentally
friendly than modern one. Doors and windows
were more decorative in the past. Slight
ornamentation on a traditional facade was
observed versus modern elevation. This study
attained further insights into spatial planning and
architectural designing of houses in Lahore for
traditional and modern categories. To ensure the
permanence of traditional features in house
designs, there is a need to nourish the soul of
residential architecture by incorporating
traditionalism with modernism. In this regard,
prominent traditional characteristics including
courtyards, thick brick walls, high ceilings, and
verandas can harmoniously blend with the latest
construction trends for accomplishing a balanced
kind of house design in Lahore.
6. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This study was supported by D Studio
(architectural design consultants) in Lahore,
Pakistan. The documented case study of modern
house is a design project of D Studio. The
architectural drawings generously provided by
the team.
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Architecture, Town Planning and Community: Selected Writings and Public Talks by Cecil Burgess
  • C S Burgess
Burgess, C. S. (2005). Architecture, Town Planning and Community: Selected Writings and Public Talks by Cecil Burgess, 1909-1946. University of Alberta.
Housing Conditions in India: Problems, Policies and Perspective
  • K Chauhan
Chauhan, K., et al (2009). 'Housing Conditions in India: Problems, Policies and Perspective': V. Gandotra et al., 'Changing Housing Needs and Directions. Authors press, Delhi.
Lahore: A sentimental journey
  • P Nevile
Nevile, P. (2006). Lahore: A sentimental journey. Penguin Books India.
Houses with Centered Courtyards in Kerala and Elsewhere in India. Dimensions of Social Life: Essays in Honor of David G. Mandelbaum
  • W Noble
Noble, W. (1987). Houses with Centered Courtyards in Kerala and Elsewhere in India. Dimensions of Social Life: Essays in Honor of David G. Mandelbaum, 48, 215.