A Comparative Analysis of Semantic Values in Liminal Spaces of Traditional Houses (Case Study: Yazd Traditional Houses)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 University of Payam-e-Nour Zahedan Branch

2 Faculty of Art and Architecture, Tarbiat Modares University,Tehran, Iran

3 Faculty of Art and Architecture, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran



A house is a space where humans grow and live with their families feeling secure with a sense of attachment. The architecture of the traditional Iranian houses not only has taken on physical and functional importance as architecture but also it plays a substantial role in the communication of its meaning and notions. Liminal spaces in traditional houses are part of the apparent form carrying multiple meanings. These spaces provide conventional interactions and exchanges with the adjacent spaces, mirroring the potential of liminal spaces to address several concepts as the focus of meaning. This applied research was conducted as a descriptive-analytical study with the interpretivist approach to describe the valid theories and opinions of theorists by ranking the concepts and notions hidden in liminal spaces. The identified indicators were analyzed using a comparative approach by developing and presenting a questionnaire to the occupants and conducting field studies on some traditional houses in Yazd. Our findings suggested that liminal spaces are represented by a concept defined by physical elements (such as porches and entrances) in traditional houses consisting of various semantic layers perceived objectively (physical concepts) and subjectively (subjective concepts). In addition, it was revealed that all indicators had considerable physical manifestations in threshold spaces on five value levels, fostering the link between the physical form and content on all semantic levels. Moreover, restoring part of the lost identity of the Iranian house architecture seems possible by prioritizing these indicators, recreating, and incorporating them into the modern housing models.