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Change of a traditional kitchen to a student lounge in a courtyard house in Yazd

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Amini.sara & Rafiei.Yalda
Master student, School of Art and Architecture, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran
Master student, School of Art and Architecture, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran
Department of Architecture, School of Art & Architecture, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran

Yazd is a city located in the central desert region of Iran, it kept many of its traditions, city form
and architecture until recent time. Rasulian house is one of the Yazd's old houses that changed
its function to art and architecture university of Yazd. In the winter part of the house, there is a
space was a kitchen, and now it works as a student lounge.

Problem statement: This paper aims at re-designing and developing the existing student lounge
to a larger and suitable student lounge with open/closed and semi open spaces.

The paper will study the functional and thermal characteristics of the existing student lounge and
purposed design solution that considers main student gathering space (Shirazi court), so the need
for open and semi open spaces connected to Shirazi court and existing lounge with the most use
of natural ventilation will be presented.

Key words: courtyard house, student lounge, natural ventilation, re-designing, Yazd
One of the most important spaces in house is kitchen Its a place for cooking and preparing food.
This paper aims at changing the function of this space in one of the traditional house in Yazd to
the student lounge.

Yazd is a city situated in the center part of Iran. The climate condition of Yazd is hot and arid, with
low humidity and very low rain fall. The average annual rainfall is 66mm and the high rate of
evaporation is makes Yazd Province one of the driest provinces of Iran, The temperature variation
is in between + 45 to -26 C, with the average being 1114 up to 2612 C. The maximum
temperature in the hottest months of the year, in the north and northeastern areas of the province
is about 56 Celsius which is really intolerable.(Ghobadian,1443). The high radiation and
temperature in the summer, diurnal variation of temperature, seasonal variations from dry, hot
summer to cold, dry winter, low
humidity,limited water supplies and the dusty
winds are the most important factors in
forming the urban structure of Yazd. The
particular climatic problems caused the
people of the hot, arid zone to find solutions
through their architecture. The buildings are
usually around a courtyard.(figure1) The built
spaces around this space have been
designed to maximize its passive potential to
warm the building in winter when sun
angles have maximum penetration into the
rooms There is sometimes a distinction
between rooms occupied in summer and
those occupied inwinter.The summer rooms
face north away from the sun and the winter
rooms face south and have glass doors that
allow the low winter sun to penetrate One of figure1: rasulian house courtyard

This traditional courtyard house

is Rasoulian house.

Case study: Access

by walk
"Rasoulian" house was built
around 1346's by "OstadHassan
Mohammad Rahim" for "Haj
Kazem Rasoulian" (of blessed
memory) whom was one of the Art and architecture Imam street
well know merchants in Yazd. university of Yazd
The house is located in
Sahl'ebne Ali area which
surrounded by imam and Ghiam
Access by walk
street.(figure2) After the house
was vacant for several years,
the heirs of deceased
"Rasoulian" donated the house
as the school of Architecture in

Figure2: location of Rasoulian house

Since art and Architecture University start its work the need for a space as a student lounge was
felt, in the north part of the house (winter section) there is a space that was a kitchen and now it
works as a students coffee and teachers coffee. But there is many problems exist in its function,
this article attempt to re-design this space and improvement its function. Figure3 and 4 shows the
space location in the house (figure3,4).





Figure3: site plan, coffee location in Rasoulian house




Figure 4: coffee interior plan

According to the site plan coffee building situated in north and north-east part of the site, as you
know, North openings provide better quality of lighting to a space because they only allow
diffused light and not direct. The following best practice guidelines are valid for north oriented
buildings and facades:

1. The openings' surface area should be kept as large as it is necessary for lighting and
natural ventilation purposes.
2. The insulation of the building's envelope should be increased by 255 compared to the
usual standard, in order to reach the level of energy consumption of a building with south
3. Use of double or special insulated glass panes is recommended.


At the beginning collected the information of existing condition and draw a table (table1) next
define sun orientation and its impacts on building (figure4) then ask the student about their
satisfaction of space and ask them to get the number between 6-16 to each factor of table
(table2), according to the results the problems detected:

1. The exist coffee doesnt have enough area for population of university
2. The space needs ventilation and IAQ(indoor air quality) control
3. There isnt any opening to allow the sunlight go through the space
4. There is a problem with thermal comfort in space

Figure 4: eco-tech model, sun path diagram

goals Facts concepts

Provide larger Present student Student

space coffee was a coffee works
considering kitchen and its with
student area isnt suitable proliferation
Human population for current room and
Issues function teachers
Redesign space coffee as an
considering the stair Is too united space
human high and not
ergonomi suitable for

Improvement the space doesnt add a semi-

indoor air quality have any opening open space
for air exchange to the coffee
Improvement or gain sun direct to provide
space heating or light natural
Enviro and cooling lighting and
nment you cant indicate natural
issues coffee in the ventilation ,
Improvement complex this space
space lighting linked to the
back yard
provide space transparent
Legibility the coffee

Provide suitable student gathering use fountain

student in courtyard and plants
Cultura gathering space interior the
l for interaction yard, fountain, space,
issues gardens, yes it transparent
keep traditional was a house, you walls
home nostalgia can feel it provide view
to the
Techn Combination No possibility for Use modern
ologica traditional air exchanging technology
l architecture and the indoor air to improve
issues with modern quality isnt good efficiency of
technology natural

Tempo Flexibility space Its not suitable Provide

ral for two-season thermal
issues Considering use comfort and
complex growth consider
future needs
in design

minimum budget many electrical use suitable

Econo for Maintenance devices should material
mic work continuity which
issues most use of to provide accommodat
natural energy thermal comfort e with
in space climate

proportion in you cant transparent

exterior and diagnose the walls, shows
Aesthe interior function of space interior
tics from its exterior functional
issues suitable and appearance from outside/
indicator form high curved

safety in It is old, dark, Opening to

Safety structure small, like a cage the court
issues with no opening yard and let
Psychological the sun light
sense of come
security through

Table 1 : important aspects of coffee design (HECTTEAS TABLE)

1-Hershberger, Manager & Architectural Programming Predesign

dimension on

4 3 NORTH 5 3 0 COFFEE



Table 2: Scoring present coffee space based on space abilities

Area (m2)








coffee 72.25 72.25 0 0 0 72.25 Service space

Teachers 22.17 22.17 0 0 0 22.17 Service space

Table 3: present coffee space quantity


After analyzing the acquired results, find some key concepts that should be considered during the
during the design process.

Enlarge space: combinations students coffee with teachers coffee as a united space , also
extended coffee to the Shirazi court yard as a semi-open space that covered by movable roof, this
roof works as an external shading for transparency wall that provide good view to the court yard
for occupants.

Ventilation (air exchange):. coffee connected to the Shirazi court yard by north wall opening,
designing another opening in the south wall (teachers coffee) can provide a good cross
ventilation for us (figure 6)

Figure 5: cross ventilation diagram

1. Cross Ventilation (figure 5): It is essential that windows are located on opposite walls to encourage
cross ventilation. The air flow depends directly on the difference in pressure at the openings. The
main parameters influencing the air flow levels are the inlet and outlet surface of the openings, the
wind velocity and direction, the temperature difference between the indoor and outdoor
environment, the relative position of the openings, and the relative wind shadowing of the building.
view: by opening the north wall of coffee and linked it to
the court yard ,in addition of providing a good ventilation
also providing a view to the Shirazi court yard that roles
in introduse the space.(figure 2)

Figure 7: view to the courtyard Figure6: cross ventilation through the space

Heating and cooling: in the right part of the teachers coffee there is a well that can use as a
passive natural cooling for space by moistening the air and decreasing the air temperature
(figure3) the cool air rises by fan and distributed in space from netted wall.

Figure 8: section and image of well

For heating the space we have direct gain from roof opening, in this climate we have many days
that sun shines vertically on the roof, so we can use it for heating the space and lighting the
interior, in addition we have indirect gain from north site opening that provide us good natural light
during the day. (Figure 4), suitable shading should be considered.

At least figure 16 shows plan and perspective of space.

1. Shading Devices: In the tropical climates, the designer should keep the solar radiation off the opaque solid
elements of the building's envelope where possible. Special care should be taken to shade the windows to
reduce the incoming heat and the risk of overheating.
Dome roof

Direct gain

Prepare Pre space Coffee saloon Rasoolian courtyard

Figure9: section of space from Rasoulian courtyard shows direct gain

Preparing space Use fountain interior

the space decreasing

Figure10: furnished plan of space


1. Hershberger, Predesign Manager & Architectural Programming,1446

2. Ghobadian,Vahid, Climatic Analysis of the Iranian Traditional Buildings, Tehran University
Publications, 1443
3. Design 2, group art and architecture university of yazd student project working on
Rasulian house,2616
4. Iran Meteorological Organization. (2666, May). Climatic statistics report (1452-2665),
Retrieved June 23, 2663 from:
6. Bahadori, M.N. (1423). Passive cooling systems in Iranian architecture. Scientific
7. Ayatollahi, S.M.H., (2663). The passive solar of Yazd: Reflections and performance
evaluation after 3 years use. Unpublished article
8. Ayatollahi, S.M.H., (2666, March), Arzyabie karaee khaneye khorshidi dar Yazd ba hdafe
sarfe joyee enerjy fe raveshe gheire faal[Efficiency evaluation of a solar house in Yazd
with the aim of passive energy saving]. The forth conference on energy efficiency in
building, Tehran, Iran
4. Tabatabayi,mechanical and electrical equipment,1432