Architect-Designed Houses: From Traditional to Modern, a Changing Paradigm in the Islamic World | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2045-5895
  • E-ISSN: 2045-5909



Architect-designed houses for the richer segments of society in the Islamic world are often seen as indulgent excursions into personal expression, and hence are also often given short shrift in academic discourse. Although these houses are the result of individual tastes of a certain group of people – the elite – they are also indicators of collective aspirations and can be models for analysing the development of new housing typologies. By digging into the traditional memory of cities and architectural designs of single residences one can learn about the possibility for high-density living and also produce models of housing not only for the wealthy but also for the poor. The design and image of houses are discussed here through a number of built examples. Despite being located in different regions and areas of Muslim habitation, these houses indicate attempts to synthesize ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ and have produced a new typology that could serve as a paradigm for a way forward for the production of new housing.


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