Deep Beauty in Architecture: Comparative Analysis of the Traditional-Courtyard and the Contemporary Residences of Lahore

Rabia Ahmed Qureshi, Munazzah Akhtar, Sarah Javed Shah


In the urban centers of Pakistan, such as Lahore, increased energy demands has resulted in frequent power shutdowns. Additionally, reliance on air-conditioners and heaters has brought an end to our cultural habits and globalization has standardized the built environment resulting in a lack of regional identity. To resolve these issues, this research looks at a typical traditional courtyard house of this region and compares it with a typical present day detached single family house to learn from the wisdom of our past and propose solutions for the future. Designs of both these typical houses are studied based on the “Deep Beauty Framework.” This framework looks at architecture on three levels: functional, typological and archetypal.

The study shows that the traditional courtyard house possess a sense of history and place, uses local building materials and relies on passive techniques such as cross-ventilation, stack effect, evaporative cooling and so on. Decorative elements include geometric patterns and arabesque designs. Prospect and refuge spaces are experienced throughout the house because of the courtyards, verandas, high ceilings and so on. Courtyards encourage social activities within the joint family system in various ways. On the other hand, the present-day detached single family house falls short on the Deep Beauty Framework criteria.

Keeping in mind the current situation in Lahore and its inhabitants, design solutions have been proposed in which the characteristics of a typical traditional house are merged in the present day house to create a new and innovative design that can overcome the current problems we face today.

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