The Life Giving Properties in the Structure of the Ganjali-Khan Square in Kerman based on Alexander’s Theory of Order

Document Type: Original Article


Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tabriz Islamic art University, Tabriz, Iran


In reviewing the case studies of traditional architectures according to Christopher Alexander’s theory on “the nature of order” and the fifteen fundamental properties introduced, it is important to note that the ontology of the theory is based on human’s indigenous feeling about architecture, which subsequently implies these kind of studies to be based on people’s cognitive images induced from architecture. In this regard, this paper has examined fifteen properties that make structures alive, in Ganjali-Khan square in Kerman. The presence of the fifteen properties of the living structures in the square and their mutual relations were studied along with the generalizability rate of alexander’s theory to the square, with a quantitative approach and a comparative study method, based on the formal and structural analysis.The purpose of this study is to evaluate the generalizability rate of this theory on the urban public space from the observers’ perspective present in the square to find out its life giving features leading it to eternality. The results show that the fifteen properties of the living structures are visible in the square. However, the feature of roughness is less visible, due to its restoration process. Hence, the Ganjali-Khan square is an urban public space in conformity with Alexander’s theory on the nature of order with all its structural and formal features and their mutual relations in the observer’s eyes; which make it consistent of the properties that define it as a high quality living structure.