Back to Art

Courtyard Housing around the World: A Cross-Cultural Analysis and Contemporary Relevance

Donia Zhang Neoland School of Chinese Culture

Abstract

The courtyard house is one of the oldest dwelling types, spanning at least 5,000 years and occurring in distinctive forms in many parts of the world across climates and cultures. This article takes a panoramic view and makes a cross-cultural analysis of the courtyard houses in six cultures: Chinese, Indian, Islamic, Greco-Roman, Spanish, and Hispanic-American, by addressing four areas of concern: cosmic axis and architectural symbolism, favorable orientation of buildings, socio-spatial organization, and cultural activities in the courtyard houses. It then looks at contemporary new courtyard housing around the world. The paper concludes that the courtyard form is a common heritage of humanity that has a past as well as a future. Moreover, the courtyard form has been built all over the world, and the shared meaning of the courtyard house is an earthly paradise, from which one may construe that the meaning of the world is a courtyard garden.

Content

Thumbnail image of ICCAUA316235_Dr_Donia_Zhang_Full_Paper_2020_5_6.pdf
download asset ICCAUA316235_Dr_Donia_Zhang_Full_Paper_2020_5_6.pdf 1 MB [opens in a new tab]

Supplementary weblinks

Courtyard Housing around the World Presentation Slides
Courtyard Housing around the World Presentation Slides
Courtyard Housing around the World Presentation Video
Courtyard Housing around the World Presentation Video

Comments

Log in or register with Cambridge Core to comment [opens in a new tab]
Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] – please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .

Comment number 1, Donia Zhang: Jul 13, 2020, 05:40

This paper has won a Best Paper Award by the Organizing Committee of the 3rd International Conference of Contemporary Affairs in Architecture and Urbanism (Certificate Number: ICCAUA2020BAW17)