Plea for a Courtyard House

Settouane, Farida (1986) Plea for a Courtyard House. Master of Architecture thesis, University of Glasgow.

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History has shown that the courtyard house (wast-ad-dar) is primarily an urban house form with a considerable potential for change. Its widespread existence in different climates and societies can testify. It is an ancient dwelling form that was used by many urban civilizations of antiquity as well as classical Greek and Roman City dwellers. It is still the traditional house form of many Asian, North African, South American and European countries. In algeria though, as in some of these countries, in spite of its endurance, the future of the urban courtyard house is seriously threatened by a new urban housing form: the high rise apartment building. This neglect of the courtyard house in fact started long ago during the French colonial period with the promotion of the "Immeuble de Ville" or tenement building from the 1830's to 1950's. In both the latter periods, it was generally believed that the courtyard house: 1. is not adequate to modern life style. 2. does not use land efficiently. 3. cannot be modern. 4. is expensive to build. 5. takes too long to build. This work will examine some of these accusations in order to find out to what extent they are true. I am fully aware of the importance of the two last accusations (A and 5) but, the difficulty of collecting information in the Algerian context makes any thorough investigation in these aspects impossible to be carried out by me at present. Consequently, my work will mainly focus on the three first accusations and try to show: 1. if a courtyard house can be adapted to modern life. 2. if it can use land efficiently. 3. if it can be modernised. In order to achieve this: CHAPTER ONE will deal with a history of the dominant three urban housing types in Algiers; i. e. the courtyard house the tenement building the point block their characteristics and the publicity that nowadays surrounds them and will discuss their adaptability to modern life (i. e. changes in social composition and technological needs). CHAPTER TWO will be concerned with the second accusation and on the basis of comparison with the existing types to show their relative efficiency in terms of land use and therefore situate the performance of the courtyard type in this field. CHAPTER THREE will show an actual site in Algiers, through setting on site of the three considered types and comparing results, their relative performance of responding to site constraints. Finally, the potential for an urban system that will insert the courtyard unit will be examined.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Architecture)
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Architecture
Date of Award: 1986
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1986-77815
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2020 11:53
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2020 11:53

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