Reading a Home: An Application of Rapoport's Viewpoint in Iranian Architecture Studies

Document Type: Original Paper


1 Faculty member of Yasuj University.Yasuj, Iran.

2 Master of Iaranian Architecture Studies, SahahidBeheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Master of Architecture, Asalooieh International Payamnoor University, Asalooieh, Iran.


In this paper, a house is assumedas an expression of culture. It has been tried to study a Qajar1 house in Tabriz, in terms of its ties with cultural context.Methods and viewpoints of Amos Rapoport have been used in order to identify and peruse the circumstance of this relationship. The main reason for using Rapoport's viewpoints to understand Salmasi House, as a case study, in addition to contribute to cognition of this house and its relations, is presenting a method to understand many Iranian architecture samples. To explain the ties between built environment and culture, Rapoport has proposed several definitions and approaches according to environment-behavior studies. To study the house, Rapoport's has used a three-step approach, including, dismantling, analyzing, and synthesizing. At first, according to these approaches, two concepts of culture and built environment have been dismantled to variables and components. Then relationship among the variables and relationship among the components have been analyzed. At the final step, the variables have been reassembled and synthesized. Their interrelationships and their ties have been established, in order to understand the essential linkage between house form and its cultural context. The required data has been collected from three sources, direct interview with former inhabitants of Salmasi house to acquainting life and quality of behavior in house. Preliminary studies to acquainting the context of case studies, study the form of the house. The results indicate the adjustment of the form of Salmasi House with wishes, needs and totally cultural characteristics of its inhabitants.


Afsharsistani, I. (1990).Take the East Azarbaijan: a collection of historical, geographical, social and economic circumstances. Tehran: Rayzan.

Appleyard, D. (1979). Home.Architectural Association Quarterly. London: Architectural Press.

Bachelard, G. 1969. The Poetics of Space. Boston: Beacon Press.

Buttimer, A. (1980). Home reach and the sense of place. In A. Buttimer and D. Seamon (eds), The Human Experience of Space and Place. London: Croom Helm.

Cloutier-Fisher, Denise, & Harvey, Jennifer. (2009). Home beyond the house: Experiences of place in an evolving retirement community. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 29(2), 246-255.

Cooper_Marcus, C. (1995). House as a Mirror of Self.Exploring the Deeper Meaning of Home. Berkeley: Conari Press.

Cramer, R. D. (1960).Images of home. Journal of  the American Institute of Architects, XLVI, 40-49.

Fakhartehrani, F. Parsi, F. and Banimasoud, A. (2005).Reading up of old maps of Tabriz. Tehran: Organization of Urban Construction.

Gans, H. (1962). The Urban Villagers. Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press.

Gauvain, M., AItman, I., &Fahim, H. (1983).Homes and social change: a cross-cultural analysis. In N. R. Feimer and E. Scott Geller (eds), Environmental Psychology: Directions and Perspectives. New York: Praeger.

Hayward, G. (1977). Psychological concepts of home among urban middle class families with young children. City University of New York (unpublished thesis).Journal of Institute of Planners, Jan., 23-31.

Khamachi, B. (2007). My City Tabriz. Tabriz: Nedaye Shams.

Khanlou, M. (1985). Traditional Tabriz  from Oldest Time to Now. Tabriz: Talash publication.

Nadermirza.(1994). History and Geography of the Capital of Tabriz.Edited by Tabatabayimajd. Q. Tabriz: Sotude.

Norberg-Schulz, C. (1980). Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture. New York: Rizzoli.

Omrani, B., &Esmailisangari, H. (2005).Historical Area of Tabriz. Tehran: Samira.

Ordobadi, M. (2005).The Foggy Tabriz.Vol. 1. Tehran: Negah.

Polikoff, B. (1969). Whose meaning of home?.Journal of Transactions of the Bartlett Society, 8, 91-106.

Porteous, J. D. 1970. Home: the territorial core. Journal of The Geographical Review 66: 383-390.

Rainwater, L. (1966). Fear and the house as haven in the lower class.Journal of the AmericanInstitute of Planners, Jan., 23-31.

Rapoport, A. (1969).  House form and culture. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Rapoport, A. (2003). Culture, Architecture, and Design, London: Locke Science

Sardarnia, S. (2002).Tabriz: the City of Pioneers. Tabriz: Art and Culture Center of Azarbijan.

Segal, W. (1973).Home sweet home.R.LB.A. Journal, Oct., 477-480.

Soltanzade, H. (1997). Tabriz: A Solid cornerstone of Iranian architecture. Tehran: Office of Cultural Researches.

Tuan, Y. (1977). Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.