Space Arrangement and Accessibility Impact of the Iraqi Traditional Courtyard House: An Investigation of Two Case Studies in Iraq, Baghdad

  • Abstract
  • Keywords
  • References
  • PDF
  • Abstract

    Spatial arrangement and components of the traditional Iraqi courtyards house have been utilized to express the residence activities inside the house and controlled their privacy. Despite its rich social content, the importance of those traditional house has been forgotten due to the rapid construction in Iraqi development. The lack of understanding on the meaning of the courtyards houses has led to a considerable gap between the current and the traditional housing resulting in an imperative need of urgent investigation of the issue. The study investigates how the Iraqi traditional courtyard house functioned and served both as a social and cultural place for the family and the guests activities. The two case studies of traditional Iraqi courtyard houses in Baghdad; in Al-Kadhymia district, were selected and morphologically analysed in this study. Floor plans and drawings of each case study were utilized to understand the physical planning of the traditional courtyard houses. The study concludes that the traditional courtyards have indirectly influenced the local people socially and culturally. The courtyard are utilized for various socially connected activities relating to the unit residential family and guests creating a more hospitable environment for interactions and better lifestyle. This study notably fills the gap in the design of the contemporary housing in Iraq and can be further expand to regional area.



  • Keywords

    Traditional Iraqi courtyard houses, Social and cultural place and Contemporary Iraq Housing, Space arrangement and accessibility

  • References

      [1] AI-Azzawi, S. (1994). Indigenous Courtyard House. Renewable Energy, 5(2), 1099–1123.

      [2] Al-Haidary, A. (2008). The Baghdad House. Al-Mada P.C.

      [3] Al-Hemaidi, W. (2001). The Metamorphosis of the urban fabric in Arab-Muslim City: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 16(1), 179–201. Retrieved from

      [4] Alchalabi, O. (2011). Genetic Shape Plan of The Traditional Ottoman’s Style House. Alrafidain Engineering, 20(5), 148–164. Retrieved from

      [5] Ani, R. H. (1994). In the Shadaow of Segregation: Women’s Identity in the Modern Iraqi House. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved from

      [6] Bekleyen, A., & Dalkiliç, N. (2011). The influence of climate and privacy on indigenous courtyard houses in Diyarbakır, Turkey. Scientific Research and Essays, 6(4), 908–922.

      [7] Carmona, M., 2001, Sustainable urban design: A possible agenda, Planning for a Sustainable Future, eds. S. Batty, A. Layard, S. Davoudi, S. Batty, Spon Press, New York; 165‐92.

      [8] Curtis, S., Gesler, W., Smith, G., & Washburn, S. (2000). Approaches to sampling and case selection in qualitative research: Examples in the geography of health. Social Science and Medicine, 50(7–8), 1001–1014.

      [9] Edwards, B. (2006). Courtyard Housing: Past, Present and Future. (M. Sibley, M. Hakmi, & Peter Land, Eds.), Search (1st ed.). Taylor & Francis. Retrieved from,+Present+and+Future#0%5Cn,+present+and+future#0

      [10] El-Shorbagy, A. (2010). Traditional Islamic-Arab house: Vocabulary and syntax. International Journal of Civil & Environmental …, 10(4), 15–20. Retrieved from IJCEE-IJENS.pdf

      [11] Farah, E. A. (2001). Gender zones in the Arab Muslim house. In Proceedings, 3rd international space syntax symposium, Atlanta (p. 42.1-42.15). Atlanta.

      [12] Habraken, N. J., & Gross, M. D. (1988). Concept design games. Design Studies, 9(3), 150-158.

      [13] Haraty, H., Raschid, M. and Yunos, M. (2015, April 28). Traditional Iraqi Courtyard Houses Morphology: An Islamic Point of View. In Aniza Abu Bakar (Ed.). A Vision of Establishing Green Built Environment. Paper presented at UMRAN 2015 Landscape Seminar, Kulliyyah OF Architecture and Environmental Design, IIUM (pp. 231-245), The Department of Landscape and Architecture: International Islamic University Malaysia.

      [14] Ibrahim, M. B., & Omer, O. A. (2014). Evolution and changes in the morphologies of Sudanese cities. Urban Geography, 35(5), 735–756.

      [15] Ishteeaque, E. M., & AlSaid, F. A. (2003). The Story of the Courtyard House Middle Eastern-Arab Case Study. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR HOUSING SCIENCE AND ITS APPLICATIONS, (27), 213–224.

      [16] Mitchell, B. R. (Ed.). (1975). European historical statistics, 1750-1970. Springer.

      [17] Kodmany, K. Al. (1999). Residential Visual Privacy: Traditional and Modern Architecture and Urban Design. Journal of Urban Design, 4(3), 283–311.

      [18] Mohammed, A. O. (2013). Evaluation of Multi- Storey Housing Projects in the Context of Sustainability / The city of Duhok.

      [19] Moore, G. T. (1979). Architecture and human behavior: The place of environment-behavior studies in architecture. Wisconsin Architect, 18-21.

      [20] Othman, O., Buys, L., & Arid, R. (2015). Home and the Embodiment of Privacy Zulkeplee Othman Laurie Buys. Frontiers of Architectural Research, 4(1), 12–23.

      [21] Reuther, O. (1910). Das Wohnhaus in Bagdad und anderen Städten des Irak. Berlin: Wasmuth.

      [22] Slamet, Y. (1993). Pembangunan masyarakat berwawasan partisipasi. Sebelas Maret University Press.

      [23] Sharif, S. M., Zain, M. F. M., & Surat, M. (2010). Concurrence of Thermal Comfort of Courtyard Housing and Privacy in the Traditional Arab House in Middle East. Ausralian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 4(8), 4029–4037.

      [24] Spahic, O. (2008). The Origins and Functions of Islamic Domestic Courtyards (First edit). Research Center, International Islamic University Malaysia. Retrieved from

      [25] Spahic, O. (2010a). Islam & housing. Malaysia A.S. Noordeen 2010. Retrieved from

      [26] Spahic, O. (2010b). Muslims and Housing Today. Malaysia A.S. Noordeen 2010. Retrieved from





Article ID: 26684
DOI: 10.14419/ijet.v8i1.9.26684

Copyright © 2012-2015 Science Publishing Corporation Inc. All rights reserved.