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University College London (UCL) 2022

A boundary-sensitive description of building morphology : nineteenth-century mansions of Esfahan, Iran

Maghzian, Nazila

Titre : A boundary-sensitive description of building morphology : nineteenth-century mansions of Esfahan, Iran

Auteur : Maghzian, Nazila

Université de soutenance : University College London (UCL)

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2022

Résumé
This thesis investigates the relation between the morphology — geometry, space and boundary — of the nineteenth-century mansions of Esfahan in Iran and their social use and cultural meaning. Existing geometric and space syntax methods of analysis are coupled with a proposed method of partitioning that captures the boundary properties of space through a limited number of space types. These space types have particular local affordances for spatial occupation and movement, have implications in terms of spatial cognition, and embody the patterns and rhythms of life in particular ways. The sociocultural study of nineteenth-century Esfahan reveals that besides the everyday life, different facets of the Islamic faith pervaded people’s lives in this era. The thesis demonstrates that the layouts create a private world of inhabitants through the exclusion of strangers. It shows, however, that the visitor to the house is highly regarded spatially, overlooking the internal household activity. The layouts also support the inhabitants’ community and privacy needs simultaneously. The analysis reveals that religious meanings of nineteenth-century Esfahan society permeate the layouts and inform the geometry and articulations of space and boundary. These include embedding the multifaceted spiritual notion of unity in the layouts, and the spatialisation of the three stages of the spiritual progress in Islam (the Divine Law, the Path and the Truth) in the changing morphology of labelled spaces. Considering the proposed methodology, the Boundary-based Partition is less economical in terms of number of subdivisions it produces compared to the convex map in space syntax. It also does not produce a unique partitioning in particular circumstances. While the Boundary-based Partition can relate to local patterns of spatial experience and uncover specific links between building morphology and the cultural content of the context, it may not offer an immediate interpretive capacity compared to the convex map in providing sociocultural interpretations

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Page publiée le 4 décembre 2022