School of Design

Postgraduate research student profiles


Shams Alshamasi

Start date

Feb 2011

Submission date

Aug 2015

Shams Alshamasi

Shams Alshamasi profile photo


Socio-Cultural and Climatic Architectural Strategies for a Sustainable Domestic and Neighbourhood Environment in Qatif, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia


The study investigates the interaction between the contemporary urban form and the contemporary house form in relation to climatic and socio-cultural factors in Qatif in the Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia. A comparative analysis between the traditional town and the contemporary suburban layout is undertaken, utilising a macro-scale of the suburban plan and a micro-scale of the house configuration. The objective of the study is to understand how the economy and cultural balance of the traditional domestic environment has been transformed through processes of modernisation, and to what extent the impact of these processes explain the deficiencies of contemporary planning.

Why my research is important

The research that forms the basis of this thesis is intended to provide beneficial assistance to planners and legislators as a preliminary study into cultural and energy sustainability in Saudi Arabia. For planners, it embraces the need for a radical change in the current planning strategies. It sheds light on the socio-cultural and climatic deficiencies of the current planning, and establishes principles that should underlay sustainable guidelines for current and future planning. For legislators, this research is of significance in setting out a preliminary framework for the practical implementation of the strategies.


  • Ministry of Higher Education, Saudi Arabia

Dense settlement of the traditional town of Qatif located on the sea front and bounded by palm groves from the other sides