Visual Preferences of Architects and Non-Architects in Evaluating the Physical Elements of Mid-Rise Residential Apartment Facades in Tehran

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Candidate of Architecture, Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning,Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran.

2 Professor, Department of Restoration and Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran

3 Professor, Department of Landscape and Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran.


Apartment building facades have different emotional effects on people due to their visual elements. These physical elements, also identify the style of the facade. The effect of these physical elements on the preference or dissatisfaction of people is unclear. The present study aims to identify the physical elements affecting the aesthetics of postmodern, neoclassical, and late modern style facades. By recognizing the differences and similarities between the two groups of architects and non-architects in perceiving the aesthetics of facades and their physical elements, a step would be taken towards designing desirable apartment facades.
In this study, the physical elements of 15 facades were extracted from the three mentioned styles and were structured in a questionnaire that was evaluated by architects and non-architects. Then the ranking effect of each physical element on preference was evaluated by calculating the average relative frequency of choices which were put in tables by reasoning and logical analysis. Finally, the similarities and differences between the evaluations of the two groups of architects and non-architects were analyzed and evaluated. In terms of research method, this research is pursued by content analysis methodology, with a quantitative and qualitative integrated approach.
Despite the different aesthetic evaluations of architects and non-architects of the neoclassical style facades, the common opinion of both groups showed a significant preference for the postmodern style facades. Also, despite the prevalence of modern-style facades, both groups of architects and non-architects gave higher ratings for post-modern facades, which is due to the reference of this style to traditional symbols of Iran.
The physical elements including frames in the facade, the protrusion of the volumes, the use of three types of materials (stone, wood, and metal), framed windows, windows located deep in the walls, stepped volumes, the use of two types of materials (stone and wood), sloping volumes and awnings were selected by architects and non-architects in the first and second rankings of preference in the late modern-style facades.
The physical elements including semicircular and crescent arches, vertical façade divisions, wooden lattice guards, brick as the predominant material, designs under windows, windows located deep in the walls, turquoise elements, stepped volumes and brickwork around the windows were chosen by architects and non-architects in the first and second rankings of preference in the postmodern style facades.
The physical elements of balustrade railings, pediments, rectangular cubic volumes under windows, columns on the façade, and roof arches were selected by non-architects in the first and second rankings of preference in the neoclassical style facades.
The findings of the present study refer to only a few reason for satisfaction or dissatisfaction towards apartment building façades and their related physical elements and cannot be the criterion of design alone. In the postmodern style facade, symbols and architectural concepts of the past are used in a new way, and so this style is more coordinated with Iran's past architecture. Therefore, the use of physical elements of the postmodern style is recommended in designing facades.


Main Subjects

حافظ‌نیا، محمد‌رضا (1383)، مقدمه‌ای بر روش تحقیق در علوم انسانی، تهران، انتشارات سمت.
قبادیان، وحید (1392)، سبک‌شناسی و مبانی نظری در معماری معاصر ایران، تهران، انتشارات مؤسسه علم معمار.
لنگ، جان (1381). آفرینش نظریه معماری: نقش علوم رفتاری در طراحی محیط، ترجمۀ، عینی فر، علیرضا، تهران، انتشارات دانشگاه تهران.
محمدپور، احمد (1397)، ضد روش: زمینه‌های فلسفی و رویه‌های عملی در روش‌شناسی کیفی، قم، انتشارات لوگوس.
مرتضوی، محبوبه سادات، مهدیزاده، فاطمه، فیضی، محسن (1400)، شاخصة سبکهای متداول نماهای آپارتمانهای مسکونی در تهران معاصر، نامه معماری و شهرسازی، دوره 14، شماره 32، صص 49-66.
Cubukcu, E., Kahraman, I. (2008), Hue, saturation, lightness, and building exterior preference: An empirical study in Turkey comparing architects’ and nonarchitects’ evaluative and cognitive judgments. Color Research and Application, 33(5), pp. 395-405.
Cubukcu E., Diktas E.O. (2013), Turkish modern and postmodern houses: Evaluative differences between design and non-design students. International Journal of Architectural Research: ArchNet-IJAR, 7(1), pp. 37-51.
Fawcett, W., Ellingham, I. & Platt, S. (2008), Reconciling the architectural preferences of architects and the public: the ordered preference model. Environment and Behaviour, 4(5), pp. 599–618.
Garip, E., Garip, B. (2012), Aesthetic evaluation differences between two interrelated disciplines: A comparative study on architecture and civil engineering students. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 51, pp. 533-540.
Gifford, R., Hine, D. W., Muller-Clemm, W., Reynolds, D. J. & Shaw, K. T. (2000), Decoding modern architecture: A lens model approach for understanding the aesthetic differences of architects and laypersons. Journal of Environment and Behavior, 32(2), pp. 163-187.
Gifford, R., Hine, D. W., Muller-Clemn, W., & Shaw, K. T. (2002). Why architects and laypersons judge buildings differently: cognitive properties and physical bases. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research. 19(2), pp. 131–148.
Ghomeishi, M., & Jusan, M. M. (2013), Investigating different aesthetic preferences between architects and non-architects in residential façade designs. Indoor and Built Environment, 22(6), pp. 952-964.
Guba, E. G., & Y. S., Lincoln (1985), Naturalistic Inquiry. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Hubbard, P. (1996), Conflicting interpretations of architecture: An empirical investigation. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 16, pp. 75–92.
Ilbeigi, M., Mahmudi KohneRoudPosht, A., Ghomeishi, M., Behrouzifard, E. (2019), Cognitive differences in residential facades from the aesthetic perspectives of architects and non-architects: A case study of Iran. Sustainable Cities and Society, 51, 101760.
Ilbeigi, M., & Ghomeishi, M. (2017), An assessment of aesthetics in conceptual properties and its relation to complexity among architects and non-architects in residential façade design in Iran. Journal of Buildings and Sustainability, 2(1), pp. 50-58.
Ibrahim, A.F., Abu-Obeid, N., Al-Simadi, F. (2002), The effect of personality traits on architectural aesthetics’ evaluation: familiar and non-familiar environments as evaluated by architectural and non-architectural students. Architectural Science Review, 45(3), pp. 197-210.
Kaplan, R., & Kaplan, S. (1989), The experience of nature: A psychological perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Nasar, J. L. & Kang, J. (1999), House style preferences and meanings across taste cultures. Landscape and Urban Planning, 44, pp. 33–42.
Nasar, J. L. (1998), The evaluative image of the city. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Pourdehghan, H., Shahcheraghi, A., Mokhtabad, S.M., Majedi, H. (2017), Evaluating visual preferences of architects and people toward housing facades, using multidimensional scaling analysis (MDS). Space Ontology International Journal (SOIJ) published by Qazvin Islamic Azad University, 6(4), pp. 75-85.
Purcell, A.T., & Nasar, J.L. (1992), Experiencing other people’s houses: a model of similarities and differences in environmental experience. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 12(3), pp. 199-211.
Safarova, K., Pirko, M., Jurik V., Pavlica T. & Nemeth, O. (2019), Differences between young architects’ and non- architects’ aesthetic evaluation of buildings. Frontiers of Architectural Research, 8(2), pp. 229-237.