Assessment of spaciousness in buildings via computer simulations: case studies on classrooms

Özyıldıran, Güler
The interaction between people and built environment has been examined in the field of architectural psychology since the 1960s. In this field, “spaciousness” has been one of the most significant concepts which have been frequently reported in the semantic differential scales, such as Spaciousness-Crampedness Scale (S-C-S) developed by İmamoğlu (1975) and used in several experimental studies via real rooms and scale models in 1970s and 1980s. However, there are still crucial architectural dimensions which have not been studied yet. The main aim of this thesis is to assess spaciousness factors in buildings via S-C-S, and within this framework, the second aim is to test the reliability of computer simulations as current research tools in architectural psychology research. This thesis is composed of a preliminary study and two groups of experimental studies (each group consisting of four consecutive experiments). In literature survey, the last 45 years of architectural psychology was reviewed, and as a developing research tool, computer simulations were examined with their current and potential features. The first group of experiments was conducted through computer simulations to develop a procedure for the second group, which aimed to test the effects of permanent components of rooms on spaciousness. Ceiling height, types of ceiling and floor (flat and stepped), and plan geometry (rectangular and trapezoidal) were assumed to have an effect on spaciousness (appeal, planning, and space freedom). 350 participants, composed of both students and staff at METU, participated in the experiments. Sample spaces were selected from METU classrooms, and their detailed computer simulations and derivatives were used as stimuli. The results of the experiments indicated that higher ceiling made the room more spacious. The types of ceiling did not affect spaciousness in general. Flat ceiling indicated higher levels of space freedom compared to stepped ceiling. Classrooms with stepped floors were evaluated as better planned than those with flat floors. Plan geometry did not affect participants’ evaluations of spaciousness significantly. Results of the experiments demonstrate that the effects of some components of rooms on spaciousness can be identified via computer simulations.
Citation Formats
G. Özyıldıran, “Assessment of spaciousness in buildings via computer simulations: case studies on classrooms,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2015.