Flexible Housing: The Role of Spatial Organization in Achieving Functional Efficiency

Seyed Reza Hosseini Raviz, Ali Nik Eteghad, Ezequiel Uson Guardiola, Antonio Armesto Aira

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26687/archnet-ijar.v9i2.422


According to inhabitants’ dimensions and various aspects of human life, flexible spaces are used as a solution in social housing due to the lack of space that architects always confront. In fact, flexible housing responds to inhabitants’ needs throughout time. In other words, it evolves from the change in residents’ requirements and promises adaptability to their living conditions. This spatial adaptability replaces spatial hierarchy and enhances life quality. The main purpose of spatial organization is to plan an interior space in order to create functional efficiency in a dwelling layout. This study attempts to research less-focused concepts so as to establish guidelines for future flexible housing design. Encompassing two case studies regarding Dutch housing, this study aims to understand how interrelated space planning enhances spatial arrangements to achieve an efficient spatial configuration. Spatial organization is delved with in depth to understand how functional efficiency can be achieved in flexible housing. Finally, interrelated spatial organization is believed to contribute to placing spaces according to their function by creating a multilateral relationship that responds to the inhabitants’ ever-changing needs.


Flexible housing; Functional efficiency; Spatial organization; Flexibility

Full Text:




Abdul Rahim, A., & Abu Hassan, F. (2012). Study on Space Configuration and Its Effect on Privacy Provision in Traditional Malay and Iranian Courtyard House. International Proceedings of Economics Development & Research (Vol. 42, pp. 115–119).

Albostan, D. (2009). FLEXIBILITY IN MULTI-RESIDENTIAL HOUSING PROJECTS: THREE INNOVATIVE CASES FROM TURKEY. The Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences of the Middle East Technical University.

Architecture in Rotterdam. (n.d.). Acquired on December 20, 2013, from http://www.architectuurinrotterdam.nl/building.php?buildingid=248〈=en&PHPSESSID=228f4fae13d7250ef550110c6208b879

Arjmandi, H., Tahir, M. ., Che-Ani, A. ., Abdullah, N. A. ., & Usman, I. M. . (2010). Application of Transparency to Increase Day-Lighting Level of Interior Spaces of Dwellings in Tehran - A Lesson from the Past. Selected topics in power systems and remote sensing, 297–307.

Barbieri, U., van Duin, L., de Jong, J., van Wesemael, P., & Wilms Floet, W. (2003). A Hundred years of Dutch architecture :1901-2000 : trends, highlights (p. 370). Amsterdam: Sun.

Danko, M. (2013). Designing Affordable Housing for Adaptability: Principles, Practices, & Application. Claremont Colleges.

Van Eldonk, J., & Fassbinder, H. (1990). Flexible fixation :the paradox of Dutch housing architecture = De paradox van de Nederlandse woningbouw (p. 83). Assen: Van Gorcum.

Förster, W. (2006). Housing in the 20th and 21st centuries =Wohnen im 20. und 21. Jahrhundert (p. 175). München etc.: Prestel.

Geehee Yu, J. (2011). FLEXIBLE URBAN HOUSING FOR CHANGING LIFESTYLES. University of Maryland.

Gringberg, D. I., & Bakema, J. B. (1977). Housing in the Netherlands :1900-1940 (p. 144). Delft: Delft University Press.

Imrie, R. (2006). Accessible housing : quality, disability and design. London [etc.] : Routledge.

John Habraken, N. (2008). Design for flexibility. BUILDING RESEARCH & INFORMATION, 36(3), 290–296.

Komossa, S. (2005). Atlas of the Dutch urban block (p. 283). Bussum: Thoth.

Lane, B. M. (2007). Housing and dwelling :perspectives on modern domestic architecture (p. 467). Abingdon: Routledge.

Martí Arís, C., & Alegre, L. (1991). Las Formas de la residencia en la ciudad moderna : vivienda y ciudad en la Europa de entreguerras (p. 206). Barcelona: Servicio de Publicaciones de la UPC.

Nosratpour, D. (2012). Evaluation of Traditional Iranian Houses and Match it with Modern Housing. Journal of Basic and Applied Scientific Research, 2(3), 2204–2213.

Schneider, T., & Till, J. (2005). Flexible housing: opportunities and limits. arq: Architectural Research Quarterly, 9(2), 157–166.

Schneider, T., & Till, J. (2007). Flexible housing (p. 237). Oxford: Architectural Press.

Shabani, M. M., Tahir, M. M., Arjmandi, H., Abdullah, N. A. G., & Usman, I. M. S. (2010). Achieving Privacy in the Iranian Contemporary Compact Apartment Through Flexible Design. Selected topics in power systems and remote sensing, 285–296.

Shabani, M. M., Tahir, M. M., Shabankareh, H., Arjmandi, H., & Mazaheri, F. (2011). RELATION OF CULTURAL AND SOCIAL ATTRIBUTES IN DWELLING, RESPONDING TO PRIVACY IN IRANIAN TRADITIONAL HOUSE. Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 6(2), 273–287.

Towers, G. (2005). An Introduction to urban housing design :at home in the city (p. 316). Oxford etc.: Architectural Press.

Valenzuela, C. (2004). Plantas transformables La vivienda colectiva como objeto de intervención. ARQ Ensayos y documentos Essays and documents (Santiago), n58, 74–77.

Ward, P. (1999). A History of domestic space :privacy and the Canadian home. Vancouver; Toronto: UBC Press.

Zandiyeh, Mehdi; Eghbali, Seyed rahman; Hesari, pedram. (2012). The Approaches towards Designing Flexible Housing. Naghsh jahan, 95–106.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2015


- ISSN (Online) #1938 7806 - ArchNet-IJAR is covered by ArchNet@ MIT Libraries, Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, EBSCO, CNKI, Pro-Quest, Scopus-Elsevier, Web of Science.

- Published work in ArchNet-IJAR is licensed under Creative Commons: CC-BY--NC-ND license, see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

Copyrights © Archnet-IJAR 2007-2017


Hit Counter
Visitor Hits Since 15 Jan 2014