The Concept of Quality in Public Courtyards: Explanations and Analysis

Document Type: Original Article


1 Saba Faculty of Art and Architecture, Shahid Bahonar University, Pajoohesh Square, Kerman, Iran.

2 Saba Faculty of Art and Architecture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran


Quality is an esoteric concept which stimulates theorists to indicate different explanations. Based on library resources, quality could be defined as an interaction between individuals and the environment, which is caused by a set of environmental components and differs in each environment. This paper studied the concept of quality in public courtyards. Shah Nematollah Vali Mausoleum, which provides a reasonable setting with four distinguished public courtyards was selected as the case study. These courtyards because of traditional patterns and frameworks of Iranian architecture are so popular amongst Iranian scholars and architecture students, and a formal imitation of this pattern is prevalent, while the qualities of these spaces are neglected. By using a wide literature review different theory about dimensions and components of quality in public open spaces were categorized in respect of year and researchers. In the Delphi panel, experts narrowed down the literature review and they suggest the main dimensions as Functional, Visual and Morphological, Experiential and Perceptual, Social and Ecological. Each of these dimensions has several components, and the authors achieved them in two rounds of Delphi method. To understand the importance and prioritization of the dimensions and components the researchers used the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) method. Furthermore, by using questionnaires and interviews this research analyses the public courtyards of the case study. Due to the results, individuals could perceive all the proposed components and dimensions of the research and affect them to label a place as a high-quality environment. This highlights that individuals’ minds comprehend the role of these components in the real-world, and consciously or unconsciously give scores to them, so they discover a place more pleasant, attractive and with higher qualities.