Islamic Architecture
Courtyards and their role in Islamic Society
Hello all,

I am an architetcure student and I am very interested in courtyards. I have briefly studied Islamic architecture and I am curious to know if there are any unusual functions courtyards play, other than the usual garden, circulation, and cooling uses?
Samuel Stropes
Courtyards and their role in Islamic Society
Hi Mr.Samuel Stropes
For me: I am sure that the court yard original function is Territorial. The first step in land acquisition is to define it physically by a fence. Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H) says: �That who surrounds a land by a fence is his�.
Naturally the second step is to build rooms alongside this fence interior. These two steps has many benefits such as 1- privacy,2- climatic, 3-circulation and so on. That is why you will find the courtyard house in every deferent geographic and climatic areas of the Islamic world.
In summary: The courtyard house is a territorial act that supports many needs.
Fahad Said
Courtyards and their role in Islamic Society
I don't have the answers, but like Samuel, I am interested in the spatial sequencing that make Islamic Architecture feel right. The role of the courtyard, how one space works with the adjacent, how spaces are used. I am beginning to pore over several books covering Islamic Architecture in North Africa (and Spain). Fahid Said, are there any books that you have found particularly good in addressing this issue?
Blair Pessemeir
Courtyards and their role in Islamic Society
In the orient, symbolism is oftentimes just as or even more important than function - the courtyard garden as symbol of paradise. If you get a chance, check out "In Arabian Nights", by Tahir Shah.
Sharif Attia


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