Open Space of Residential Complexes and Environmental Responsiveness: A Comparative Study of three Residential Complexes in Hamadan

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Lecturer, Department of Architecture, Islamic Azad University Borujerd Branch, Borujerd, Iran

2 Professor, School of Architecture, College of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Art and Architecture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamadan, Iran


The present study investigates the influence of the shape and design of open spaces in residential complexes on the environmental response rate. According to the related literature, quality of open space between buildings in residential complexes, the so-called outdoor environment, has a positive relationship with residents` satisfaction and the desirability of residential projects. In this study, the environmental responsiveness is considered to be one of environmental factors affecting the desirability, which can influence residents' quality of life and satisfaction from residential complexes. Environmental Responsiveness is, offering different responses to the physiological and psychological needs of different users through environment. The concept of environmental responsiveness includes several variables that can be evaluated through the measurement of different environmental factors. The theoretical framework of the study suggests that, a responsive outdoor environment includes the principal components of flexibility, legibility and quality of visual effects. The flexibility component consists of two criteria of environment modification and behavior adaptation. Each of legibility and visual components can be measured and assessed by three criteria. The criteria which make the legibility measurable are ease of orientation, clear definition of activity borders and visual accessibility. Visual effect component is measured by three criteria of proportionality and harmony, visual integration and façade appealing. In this study, by using survey research methods, evaluation of 360 residents of residential complexes to response rate of three different "linear", "single" and "middle open space" projects in the city of Hamadan was carried out. In order to understand the significant difference between the averages of the studied projects, the Chi-square test was used. The survey findings show that only in four standards of clear definition of socio- physical boundaries of activity, visual integrity, proportion and harmony and façade appealing in three residential projects studied, the differences are significant. In the other four criteria, namely environmental modification, behavioral adaptation, easy navigation and visual accessibility there were seen no significant differences in three residential projects. In other words, the environmental responsive rates of the three projects are significantly different from each other in the visual quality of the components. Imam Reza quarter residents with middle open space design evaluated a better visual quality of the outdoor environment, than respondents if other residential open space types. In the middle open space design, because of the concentration of the building blocks around a central space, the integrity of visual perception is obtained more than other form of designs. In total, according to the findings, it could be argued that the quality of visual effects is significantly influenced by the shape of space. However, the impact of the designed space on two dimensions of flexibility and legibility is not significant. Environmental responsiveness in the two components is achieved with equipment, facilitation of certain activities and social relations in the environment. Therefore, it can be concluded that the outdoor responsiveness, is not dependent on only the form of space and the outdoor environment itself, but is influenced by all the factors and elements forming the residential environments.