The Case of El-Fawakhria Traditional Quarter - Al-Arish - Egypt
The transformation of the traditional desert houses in "Al-Arish" old settlement through various cultures and civilizations
is a particularly unique case. The way the traditional house absorbs new members and accommodates new
nuclear families at the same plot area is an interesting case. Previous researches have examined configuration characteristics
of the traditional houses in "Al-Arish". This paper will focus on the interpretation of morphology and social
structure. It is almost a truism within space syntax research that the sociologically significant aspects of a building are
directly reflected in its spatial configuration. (Sonit Pafna, 2001). In the selected area for the case study, there are different
house types referring to three main time periods; 1) pre-occupation period (type-a) unchanged original house
forms, 2) occupation period (type-b); and 3) post-occupation period (type-c). House plans were examined using space
syntax methods, and relationships to shifts in social traditions and family structures were analyzed. Typically the guest
courtyard and the family courtyard, as the central living spaces, have always been an essential part of the social life of
the society, their transformation were emphasized. Results of the study related to transformation process and the feedback
of the changed social structure and the impact of the Islamic inheritance roles on the house forms were simulated
and discussed for further research into accommodating solutions for contemporary needs of the inhabitants as
guidelines for current housing practices.* The research aims to sketch a way of understanding the impact of the social
rules and traditions on the spatial pattern, in other words detecting the society's impact on space. The paper intends to
examine and explore the transformation process of Sinai's traditional houses and the changed social behavior from living
within complex family structure to nuclear family structures with segregated household.
Keywords : Social Pattern - Spatial Configuration - Inheritance - Desert Settlements.
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