Aesthetic control and Regulations

Andrews points out that design was previously judged based on aesthetic quality; however, recently, the efficiency of the design has been given the authenticity of meaningful criteria. Aesthetic control by the planning authorities has been widely criticized for being emotive and to some extent, imprecise. This is because the appeal of other inputs such as geography, sociology, and economics happens to be higher than the external appearance of the design (Andrews, 1992). Aesthetic control and regulations must take into account practical considerations such as suitability, the practicality of location, ease of use, a mix of space, context, functional layout, and access.

Jones states that architectural design happens to be a social process as well as a communicative action that responds to the political, social as well as cultural instrumental ends. Design review practices and control are practically and institutionally constrained, which means that the design regulations are subject to hegemonic control as well as subversion or resistance by alternative viewpoints. Thus in a built environment, conformance to specific images and attitudes is often sought over.

Design of Public Houses

Nagy states that the design of the public houses did not accommodate the customary practices of the Qataris because domestic activities which were customarily conducted were faced with immense difficulty to perform because of the closed interactive area. Many of the original occupants complained about the reduced outdoor activity space that the design of the houses provided. This is because the design of a self-contained house near the center of the property could not be changed to add accommodations in size as well as for the needs of the family. The most common criticism, states Nagy, of the public houses, is that they hinder movement, which can be contributed to the design of the house. Furthermore, the plans of the open houses have a lack of provision for majlis structure. The building regulations that require the homes to be set back from the line of the property make houses that have a central yard seem less efficient in the use of the plot.  The regulations state that the homes should be placed on the neighboring plots, which means that residents can have a full view of the garden and house of the neighbor, which is culturally inappropriate for Qataris. Shah shares the same views regarding the use of space as Nagy as he states that architecture impacts social interaction in the sense of personal space as well as territoriality. Thus the Qataris complaining about the lack of space for performing activities and lack of privacy due to house design means the design does not meet the privacy needs. The plan that buildings possess can control as well as dominate people. Shah states that the way traffic can be controlled with speed bumps to slow down the drivers, structures can also influence the socio-cultural traditions and personal identity of individuals (Shah, 2007).

The customary architectural design of the houses allocated to middle-income Qatari citizens before the 1960s regulations had wall enclosing within the living and sleeping structures along with the ancillary buildings such as the privies and kitchens were catered to be oriented toward being accustomed to the day to day activities. However, the public houses granted by the government in the late 1970s and early 1960s were small and self-contained, which hindered the social and cultural practices of the Qataris. The residents had to, in turn, transform their living spaces to suit their needs, and this architectural transformation of the houses indicates that the Qataris engage in a different form of social interaction with the diverse social sphere of Doha.


 that adopt architectural design controls establish various review boards that decide on the design of the structure. The review board is mainly responsible for maintaining an architectural plan that prevents owners from adopting house designs that are not concurrent with the architectural design goals. The proposals to change the design of the house must undergo the architectural review board that includes checking the property value. Property value check involves checking whether the design of one building might depreciate the property values of the adjacent properties throughout the community or not. Furthermore, the construction of buildings should be stopped on the grounds of inappropriateness and dissimilarity. This means that a building that might be incongruous with the other buildings in its surrounding is not suitable.

Recently, there have been several municipalities that have adopted a different range of ordinances for residential homes as well as for architectural controls. These municipalities have expressed fears of uniformity, which is done excessively, and have claimed that the rights of the property owners in terms of renovating homes for aesthetical values must be protected. Some of the ordinances have even indicated which housing styles are permitted that reflect their desire to preserve the existing community character (Rubin, 1975). The ordinance has the authority to establish community architectural controls for private homeowners. Rubin states that this form of power of regulation permits them to enable acts, which in turn allow the municipalities for zoning ordinances. State zoning enabling acts present in the regulations contain authorization for management of appearances and aesthetics, which municipalities usually use for enacting architectural controls for the general welfare of the public.

Housing Policy in Qatar

The very initial phase of housing policy in Qatar was initiated in 1964, which included the provision of homes to the unemployed, disabled, and elderly. The houses offered to the Qataris in the late 1960s to the early 1970s by the state were unfamiliar in their design as most of the homes required adjustments in terms of the use of the house. Nagy states that not only were the Qataris relocating to the city often finding themselves surrounded by neighbors that were unfamiliar but also found apartments to be adjustable to use because of their design (Nagy, 1998).




ANDREWS, K. D., 1992. The Aesthetic Control of Development. JSTOR, Issue 19, pp. 32-39.

Jones, R. A., 2001. DESIGN COMMUNICATION AND AESTHETIC CONTROL: ARCHITECTS, PLANNERS, ANDDESIGN REVIEW. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, 18(1), pp. 23-38.

Nagy, S., 1998. Social diversity and changes in the form and appearance of the Qatari house. Visual Anthropology, 10(4), pp. 281-304.

Rubin, B. A., 1975. Architecture, Aesthetic Zoning, and the First Amendment. Stanford Law Review,, 28(1), pp. 179-201.

Shah, R. C., 2007. HOW ARCHITECTURE REGULATES. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research,, 24(4), p. 350=359.








Architectural design undertakes numerous parameters regarding residential buildings. The design process is difficult to elaborate on due to its stakeholders and multifaceted interactions. The design quality of buildings accompanies structural components to determine the design loads. Residential construction in architecture scenarios impacts the aesthetic of the environment (Beazley, Heffernan & McCarthy, 2017). The architecture in the building is the embodiment of a modern structure that undertakes cultural change. Architecture impacts the social, cultural, technical, and economic advancement of a place.  Cultural heritage represents the aesthetic elements in residential buildings (Emmanuel Arenibafo, 2017). The aesthetic elements in residential buildings portray the significance of culture and sustainability. 

Long-term strategies in Qatar have been used to construct more efficient buildings regarding energy efficiency.  The sustainable energy-efficient buildings are built according to the construction regulations to assist aesthetic objectives (HARPUTLUGİL, GÜLTEKİN, PRINS & TOPÇU, 2014). Policies related to developing efficient buildings for improved sustainability are based on certification schemes, education, and training, codes and regulations, and communication activities. In Qatar, a focus is made on residential buildings’ design and architectural regulation to fulfill the need of the community (Deng & Poon, 2013). Promoting the demand for sustainable buildings is based on the necessity of the aesthetic beauty of the environment. Professionals understand the role of energy-efficient buildings for residential purposes and translate this objective into concrete actions. 

Residential facilities in Qatar are aligned to improve the information mechanism for the construction of residential buildings, according to sustainable design and aesthetics. Communication and information activities are central to promote the value of sustainable buildings because they convince architects about the necessity of such buildings. Qatar has the fastest growing economy, and it has experienced steady growth in the past decade (Fadli & AlSaeed, 2019). The complexes of residential buildings are built in a modern uniform style to offer recreational facilities.  Our focus in this research is residential villas in particular and then buildings. The goal of this research is to assess how the architectural regulations, in regards to residential dwellings and courtyard houses, have affected the ugly-fiction of the neighborhood.

Qatari residential projects are affected due to certain factors such as deviation in terms of scheduling and cost. Complex projects vary in time schedule, cost structure, and aesthetic beauty. This activity constitutes the main portion of the gross national product. The architectural design and regulation affect the construction of residential buildings in Qatar (Han & Kim, 2014). This study is designed to examine the current architectural design regulations and their impact on aesthetics.

Research Problem and Objectives

Residential buildings construction is associated with a high cost.  A lack of defined and unified consensus architectural design regulations for residential buildings exist that meet the aesthetic diversity and local identity. This research is based on analyzing the traditional architectural values while satisfying the legal requirements of the construction industry for residential buildings. The aim of the study is to review the current architectural design regulations for residential buildings and identify their level of impact on the current design controls on the urban aesthetics of the state of Qatar. Research objectives are to review the existing residential design regulations in the State of Qatar and how these regulations are being enforced and implemented in Qatar. It will also focus on the residential design regulations and how it is being implemented in other countries. The research will identify the insufficiencies in the current residential design regulations. It will analyze the level of impact of the insufficiencies towards the urban aesthetics in neighborhoods of Qatar.


In order to collect data on this matter and to better understand the cause and impact factors of problems, a number of publications will be reviewed. The literature reviews will focus on two main matters, theory, and research. The methodology will analyze literature review, such as reviewing problems of insufficient building regulations in other countries and reviewing the subject of building codes. The analysis of residential buildings will be done. It will further include reviewing the Qatar residential zones under different requirements. The literature review, as a part of the methodology, will also review the different municipality’s vision and development strategies, such as reviewing the Qatar National Master Plan. The study research design process will also include general management. The main concerned management is the Ministry of Municipality and Environment. The administrative structure of residential building regulation consists of permit issues, plan reviews, site inspections, and final approvals.

Research Design

This paper will include semi-structured interviews for qualitative data collection through meeting with parties concerning residential building regulations. The participants in the interview will be officials and professionals from the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, Fire Defense, and other institutes. The questionnaire will add value to the research by investigating individuals about their opinion. It will focus on the selected residents to elicit responses on issues and problems related to the current residential regulations in the country.

In addition to this, site visits will also be conducted to inspect, observe, and evaluate residential regulation practices. The dwellings that will be observed are located in Al-Daayen Municipality. Al-Daayen Municipality has been established in 2005, which is one of the latest municipality’s establishments in Qatar. This is going to provide us with a better and newer result outcome on the impact of residential regulations and the level of its impact on the aesthetics of the urban environment. In previous studies, architectural designs are investigated, but the impact of residential building designs on aesthetics is not inquired. This paper will focus on the intensive involvement of management and architectural regulations for the quality of design service.

The questionnaire will be prepared in the English language and Arabic to meet the different needs of respondents. In total, 50 questionnaires will be distributed among respondents. The number of respondents will be an equal ratio of male and female i.e., 25 males and 25 females. To make some ease to respondents, some will be contacted via electronic mail. Municipality members will be contacted via mail due to their tight schedules. Most of the respondents of this study are high-profile managerial positions and architects. All of them have strong experience working in the construction industry. 

Data Analysis

For this paper, data will be analyzed by using sampling techniques. There are different kinds of sampling, such as stratified, cluster, and convenience sampling. Cluster sampling is used to identify the fundamental reasons for the construction industry as an initial survey (Kim & Park, 2018). For example, an international architect has diverse experience in construction and accommodates aesthetic aspects in development. Qatar has many impressive buildings, and many architects have been focusing on residential ethics as well as beauty aspects.

Stratified sampling will be used to address different aspects, such as to categorize experienced professionals and to focus on international players. It is also essential to know the diverse nature of architects. The design agencies also focus on working conditions and share their extensive experience of work by handling complex projects (Shaaban, 2013). The process of design tendering is significant and complex to identify qualified respondents at the regional and international levels. Furthermore, it also elaborates on the flexible behavior of architecture regulations. 

The most suitable process of pilot testing needs convenience sampling. The international experience of respondents and in the Ministry of Qatar allows for the discussion of the liaison process and diversity of work nature about residential buildings.

Selection criteria

The respondents are selected on the basis of inclusion of the client organization, as on the basis of client pressing issues for residential projects, and to discuss the issues under government regulations. Respondents who belong to interdisciplinary practice projects for design tasks will be selected. Potential candidates from the decision-making industry will be chosen to ensure the accuracy of first-hand data and its validity.


Beazley, S., Heffernan, E., & McCarthy, T. (2017). Enhancing energy efficiency in residential buildings through the use of BIM: The case for embedding parameters during design. Energy Procedia121, 57-64. doi: 10.1016/j.egypro.2017.07.479

Deng, Y., & Poon, S. (2013). Professional practice in programming large public buildings in China: A questionnaire survey. Frontiers Of Architectural Research2(2), 222-233. doi: 10.1016/j.foar.2013.04.002

Emmanuel Arenibafo, F. (2017). The Transformation of Aesthetics in Architecture from Traditional to Modern Architecture: A case study of the Yoruba (southwestern) region of Nigeria. Contemporary Urban Affairs1(1), 35-44. doi: 10.25034/1761.1(1)35-44

Fadli, F., & AlSaeed, M. (2019). Digitizing Vanishing Architectural Heritage; The Design and Development of Qatar Historic Buildings Information Modeling [Q-HBIM] Platform. Sustainability11(9), 2501. doi: 10.3390/su11092501

Han, J., & Kim, S. (2014). Architectural Professionals’ Needs and Preferences for Sustainable Building Guidelines in Korea. Sustainability6(12), 8379-8397. doi: 10.3390/su6128379

HARPUTLUGİL, T., GÜLTEKİN, A., PRINS, M., & TOPÇU, Y. (2014). Architectural Design Quality Assessment Based On Analytic Hierarchy Process: A Case Study. METU JOURNAL OF THE FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE. doi: 10.4305/metu.jfa.2014.2.8

Kim, J., & Park, K. (2018). The Design Characteristics of Nature-inspired Buildings. Civil Engineering And Architecture6(2), 88-107. doi: 10.13189/cea.2018.060206

Shaaban, K. (2013). A proposed transportation tracking system for mega construction projects using passive RFID technology. Qatar Foundation Annual Research Forum Proceedings, (2013), ICTP 04. doi: 10.5339/qfarf.2013.ictp-04






This questionnaire is to know about the residential buildings designs and architectural regulations.  The questionnaire is based on six parts, in which some questions are semi-closed-ended, some questions are close-ended and some are open-ended. Participants are from Al-Daayen Municipality, administrative members of residential buildings, and architectures from different residential building professionals.

Part 1

Q.1 For how long you are serving construction industry?

Q.2 Name of your specialty and occupation?

Q.3 Name of your education level?

Q.4 Your channel of training in construction?

Q.5 What is your recent involvement in the industry?


Respondents profile

Q1. Name of respondent

Q2. Profession level

Q3. Yearly income

Q4. Marital Status

Q5. Ethnicity


Q.1 Demand for residential services

Q.2  Demand for aesthetic building for residence

Q.3 Programming about construction services

Q.4 Awareness level about construction planning

Q.5 Awareness about residential architecture regulations


Q.1 Factors influencing design competition outcomes

Q.2 Client’s structure and program issues

Q.3 Prevailed methods of buildings construction


Q.1 Residential programming methods, i.e. short and long term

Q.2 Benefits of programs used in residential building construction


Q.1 Profiling information of the project

Q.2 Client’s profile, in terms of experience, ownership and organization

Q.3 Scope of competition

Q.4 communication approaches used for construction



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