The Concept of Quality in Public Courtyards: Explanations and Analyses. Case Study: Mausoleum of Shah Ni’mat-Allah Vali

Document Type : Original Article


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

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


Quality is a highly esoteric concept which compels theorists to offer different explanations. Based on library resources, quality can be defined as an interaction between individuals and their environment, which is caused by a set of environmental components differing in each environment. This paper studied the concept of quality in public courtyards. The Mausoleum of Shah Ni’mat-Allah Vali, which provides a reasonable setting with four distinguished public courtyards was selected as the case study. Owing to traditional patterns and frameworks of Iranian architecture, these courtyards are immensely popular amongst Iranian scholars and architecture students, and a formal imitation of this pattern is prevalent, while the qualities of such spaces are often neglected. By employing a wide literature review, the different theories regarding dimensions and components of quality in public open spaces were categorized based on the year and author. In the Delphi panel, experts narrowed down the literature review and suggested that the main dimensions are Functional, Visual and Morphological, Experiential and Perceptual, Social and Ecological, each of which has several components. These components were achieved using the Delphi method. Moreover, the authors used the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) method to understand the importance and to prioritize the dimensions and components. Furthermore, by using questionnaires and interviews, this research analyses the public courtyards of the case study. Based on the results, individuals could perceive all the proposed components and dimensions of the research and consider them while labeling a place as a high-quality environment. This highlights the fact that individuals’ minds recognize the role of these components in the real-world, and consciously or unconsciously evaluating with the aim of discovering a place more pleasant, attractive, and with higher qualities.


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