The Statics of Space Syntax: Analysis of Stationary Observers

Author's Department

Architecture Department

Second Author's Department

Construction Engineering Department

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Khaled Tarabieh; Khaled Nassar; Natheer Abu-Obied; Fuad Malkawi

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

ARCHNET-IJAR International Journal of Architectural Research

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Space Syntax is a set of techniques for the analysis of spatial configurations of all kinds including architectural designs. Traditional Space Syntax has been devoted to analysing dynamic views of an observer moving through space, which is the case in most building spaces. However, some architectural spaces are usually experienced from static viewpoints. Consequentially, the way this space is viewed has a significant impact on the spatial cognition and experience of the occupants. Examples of such buildings where the occupant may observe spaces from mostly static points of view are religious spaces such as mosque or churches' prayer halls. This paper presents an analysis of a typical "static space" in terms of its spatial logic. A typical configuration for a prayer hall consisting of a bilateral symmetry space with four columns is considered. This configuration is manifested in many religious buildings and is assessed using visibility graphs, axial lines as well as various isovist field properties and measures. This paper shows how the most basic alterations to the configuration of the plan can affect the spatial experience and cognition of the place. In addition, special Space Syntax measures that are relevant to the design of the static spaces are extracted and discussed as well as the consequences of an omni-visual observer of typical Space Syntax in comparison to the directional observer in a static space. The analysis presented in the paper has implications for both architectural designs of spaces with similar configurations as well as for research on Space Syntax focusing on stationary observers.

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