privacy:A study of privacy needs of various architectural spaces
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19-01-2011, 06:01 PM

privacy:A study of privacy needs of various architectural spaces

Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively.
The boundaries and content of that is considered differ among cultures and individuals, but share basic common themes.
Physical Privacy could be defined as preventing “intrusions into one’s physical space or solitude”.
Preventing intimate actor one’s body from being seen by others for the purpose of modesty, apart from being dressed. This can be achieved by walls, fences, privacy screens, cathedral glass, partition between urinals, by being for away from others, on a bed by a bed sheet or a blanket, when changing cloth by a towel etc…

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• Preventing unwelcome searching of one’s personal possessions
• Preventing unauthorized access to one’s room, space, home or vehicle
• Physical privacy may be a matter of cultural sensitivity, personal dignity or shyness.
• Privacy feeling is started from the beginning of unman life.
• Bible says the feeling of privacy started after doing sin against god. They felt that they are woman and man and hide their secret parts of the body using leaves…
• Science says, in the beginning of human life people did not feel shyness about their nudeness or privacy for their any work. Human was just like animals. They did not feel privacy while they defecate, urinate or having sex…
• But when people realize that these things are special, feeling of privacy started. People feel irritating being notices.
• To divert from conventional architecture style but satisfying basic privacy needs by analyzing reasons and needs of privacy at various spaces.
• Analyzing and study the reasons behind the feeling of privacy of humans and give special elements to satisfy the needs and apply it differently.
1. Define privacy in architecture by studying privacy needs of various architectural spaces.
2. Study about the architectural spaces and its satisfaction of privacy needs.
3. Explore the potentials of future application of interior walls and screens and other elements for privacy but divert from traditional approaches of design.
• Study would start from the historical background of the human feeling about privacy.
• The evolution of privacy
• The reduction in privacy.
• Privacy is sometimes related to anonymity, the wish to remain unnoticed or unidentified-in public realm. When something is private to a person, it usually means there is something within them that is considered inherently special or personaly sensitive.
1. Introduction to privacy in architecture.
2. Understanding physical privacy, personal space, feeling of privacy for different persons and between different sex.
3. Reasons behind the feeling of privacy
4. Discuss the reasons and feeling of privacy at different architectural spaces and solutions for that.
5. Explore potential for future application
6. Study the recent and traditional applications to satisfy privacy.
7. Introduce different applications to satisfy the needs of privacy and introduce innovative designs.
1. Privacy in a restaurant seating …
o In general restaurant or banquet seating, everybody can see every others eating and it is easy to be noticed their styles in easy to be noticed their styles in eating or the amount they eat. But people accepted it by practice.
o But if two dining rooms of different houses or apartment units are near and seen the activities people of both the houses feel disturbance in their privacy…
2. Bus seating-Congested seating
o Usually people donot prefer others or strangers touching them while they sit or stand. But in bus travel people accept and donot feel discomfort when a stranger is siting close him.
o In some places people feel discomfort when different sex sit beside them - separate ladies seats are provided there.
3. Sleeping in a train birth and in a bedroom
o People feel comfort only human sleeping in a bedroom and the door is closed. They do not feel comfort when a stranger sleeping near their bed.
o But in a train, people sleep in births and there are strangers sleep around them in second class sleeper. For higher class a curtain privacy is available.
o Here we feel comfort because of usual practice…
4. Gents & Ladies Toilets/Their waiting Areas
o In a home people donot want separate toilets for Gents & Ladies, but in a public space they may need according to different locations.
o In a home the family members feel themselves as a group but in a public area they get separated by their sex-Gents & Ladies…
o Privacy in Intimacy
5. Husband and Wife/Children
o In a family life husband and wife feel privacy at the beginning of their life but it reduces after understanding both.
o But if there is anything to be hidden in anyone’s mind or body privacy is needed for the member.
o Children don’t know what to do and what not to do exactly and they don’t feel anything bad if they are being noticed. So they feel comfort without privacy factors..
o Not only in the case of husband & wife, but also people understanding each perfectly donot need privacy between them whatever be their sex..
We understand things by 5 senses. Touch, Sound, Smell, Vision & Taste. In which privacy in,

Privacy in Touch can be achieved by arranging different seats, providing sigle beds for everybody, huge lobby space, large exists and entries etc..
Sound & Smell:
Privacy in sound means, we don’t want others to hear some sounds originating from our body due to fart and burp which are by the result of digestion process.
This can be achieved by sound insulating the toilet from other rooms.
Smell also comes out due to fart and burp, but we don’t want others to know this whom we are in toilet or it comes accidently. So ventilation form toilets should be given to open spaces-outside the building.
Smell from kitchen can be avoided by giving exhaust fans and electronic chimneys etc..
(i) Residences:
Visual privacy is the basic need for residences. Privacy in vision can be achieved by providing walls, fences, privacy screens, cathedral glasses etc.
(a) Compound walls:-
Extra privacy for the residence can be achieved by compound walls. By the intelligent application of compound walls, we can gain privacy to our lawn, front yard, residence entry, backyard and to the windows and doors which all opens out.
(b) Exterior walls:-
Exterior walls in raindaces gives protection as well as privacy from the public and neighbouring residents. Hiding the entry door & windows directly to the road of access to the residence gives privacy without the help of a compound wall.
Trees, plants, greenery, landscape can be done such as way to hide the exterior walls and its entries to satisfy the privacy needs.
© Living space:
In the case of interior of raindaces, living, kitchen, bedroom, toilets etc need privacy from the guests who visit the house and also from the various members of the residents of the same house when personal privacy is needed.
Living room should be accessible from all other utility rooms including drawing, bedrooms etc but should get basic privacy when a resident is reading, playing or matching television. This can be achieved by various architectural elements without the presence of a full wall separation from adjacent rooms.
(d) Kitchen:-
The concept of kitchen as a room changes in modern residences. Traditional style of kitchen was keeping kitchen as a separate room.
Privacy for kitchen not only include visual privacy. The smell generated from the kitchen should not pass to the neighbouring rooms. Thus in traditional housing kitchen was a separate room which opens out to the backyard of the residence.
(e) Bedrooms :-
Bedrooms are considered as the most importance space in every house. The houses get value by the quality of the bedrooms in it. The bedrooms should be effectively ventilated, should get enough light but privacy is the major factor. Bedrooms and the toilets attached to it are the most private areas for the residents.
When the children get reached the age of maturity they need separate bedrooms where they get privacy from the other members of the same family.
Sometimes wife may need privacy from the husband and vice-versa. The couple need privacy from other members of the family such as children, grand parents etc. The whole family need privacy from the guests and servants. So this privacy is gained by separating parents, grand parents and children into separate bedrooms. Toilets attached to each to these separate bedrooms satisfies more privacy.
Some privacy needs in a bedroom are
o Guests and other members who are using living, dining, kitchen etc should not directly see the bedspace in a bedroom even if the door of the bed-room is opened.
• The bedroom may need good view to outside but view to the bedroom interior from outside should by fully avoided.
• The dressing space, toilet entry from the bedrooms should not be seen from outside the bedroom through the bedroom door or window.
• Sound privacy is needed for the bedroom when the doors and windows of the room are closed. Acoustic treatment or thickwall can be a solution. Sound should not be transmitted to adjacent rooms of the same floor or to the rooms below the bedroom through the floor.
(f) Balconies/Sitouts/Patios:-
The balconies of a particular residence should not opens to adjacent residence’s balcony, bedroom window, toilet ventilation etc to satisfy the privacy of both the residence. The main aim of a balcony is external view. This should be satisfied with satisfying the privacy of the residents, if not the balcony won’t give satisfaction for the residents.
The common character of balconies, sitouts and patio is that they are not covered by from the residence to get the feel of being outside.
To limit the view of the balconies, patios or sitout in order to hide the neighbouring scenes or for the privacy from adjacent houses, we may use single side, two side or 3 side walls covering for these spaces.
(g) Toilets:-
In care of toilets we need privacy for vision, odor and sound. Four side thick covered full wall can be a solution for visual and sound privacy. Proper ventilation to outside the residence can be a solution to several. Air tight door shutters and not providing any other openings to the bedroom is also another solution to prevent sound and smell to interiors.
Evening openness in toilets shows that the physical privacy of human being as a social personal is reducing. Open toilets are coming with one side glass wall, opening from ceiling etc are examples. There are based on the privacy feelings of the particular people or the society. If you are walking along a street by being nude and nobody give any attention towards you or you are not being noticed, you don’t feel any discomfort and you don’t miss any privacy.
But open toilets are not fully open out physical privacy but it reduces traditional privacy needs of toilets and give basic privacy for the individual.
The bathing area and defecating space are hided from the openness of the toilet. But the light entry and view are elaborated in in an open-toilet. The privacy needs are different in the immotional thoughts of each person in a particular society. Again privacy needs changes from our society to another.

Example of a residence with respect to the privacy
Residence: Villa Savoye
Architect : Le-Corbusier
The first floor of a residence gets more privacy than the ground floor because, it is at heights from a viewer walking on the ground level on a road near to the raindance or somebody who is approaching the residence. First floor windows are at higher level than the eye level of a person who views the residence from the ground level. Therefore in the Villa Savoye, architect Le-Corbusier designed such a way that the main ……….of the residence which need to get more privacy (eg: bedroom, living, toilets, kitchen etc) are placed in the first floor while service spaces such as laundry, maid’s room, garage and entrance hall are situated in the ground floor.
The bedrooms which need more privacy are located at sides and rear and of residence. Master bedroom windows looking rear side of the residence. If the bedroom locate at the façade, public will get view to the bedroom windows.
Toilet ventilation faces rear side of the residence.
Rooms which need less privacy from public such as open living, kitchen etc are facing the façade. The solarium (glass closed room which exposed to the sun) is also facing the façade at the second floor.
Another speciality of the residence is that the first floor has got an open plan where living, green terrace are without partition walls.
For privacy the exterior windows at the first floor starts at a sill level height of 0.90 m from the floor level and the window heights are limited to 1.20 m. opened is elaborated at the interior while privacy is maintained from the exterior.
An apartment is a self contained housing unit that occupies only part of a building. These types of buildings are called apartment building or apartment house
All the privacy that needed in a residential building should be satisfied in an apartment.
An apartment is a group of houses. So privacy from neighbouring units, privacy from the common areas, public amenities etc are needed to each unit.
Some important Guidelines are;
Window of an unit ever looks straight to neighbouring units window, balconies or rooms.
Balconies, Dry Balconies etc should get privacy from the neighbouring units.
Balconies of two separate units should not come adjacent even if no direct view occurs. If happened proper security measures have to be done.
The common amenities and areas like liftdoor, stair etc should not have a direct view to any of the units main dooe.
No two units main entry door at opposite sides to each other.
Adjacent units which is separated by a wall should be separated with a thick wall of minimum width of nine inches in order to satisfy security and sound privacy.
Windows of a unit ….. should not opens to common areas like corridor, lobby stair etc.
Privacy also needed to each units from the neighbouring apartment buildings and other high rise buildings.
In Hotels and Resorts the basic housing rooms and cottages need privacy from adjacent spaces. The hotel rooms should be get privacy from adjacent rooms, common areas like corridors and from other amenities.
The balconies, if provided to room, should not be disturbed by other balconies or amenities.
If these privacy needs are not satisfied, whatever be the luxury of the hotel it won’t get much higher hospitality rating.
Inside each rooms (eg: suite, deluxe etc) these may be bathview rooms in which toilet interior can be seen from the bedroom (the rooms are called bath view suites) which are separated by a glass wall.
Private swimming pools and open toilets in a hotel which may opens into lake or to sea should satisfy privacy from the public who way use the lake or the sea.
Restaurant seatings are of different types. Separate dining cubides satisfy full privacy from others, level difference in a restaurant gives different style of privacy, curtains, interior plants can be used for privacy.
Today people don’t like cubide seating in a restaurant. They accepted being noticed by others while they eat. In general, restaurant or banquet seating, everybody can see others eating and it is easy to be noticed there style of eating or the amount they eat. But people accepted it by practice.
Most cases we will be disturbed if somebody sit in our table in a restaurant. But in a busy restaurant, we won’t be disturbed that much in such a condition
In a commercial office space Chief executive officer has got a separate room and has got separate resting rooms, toilets, balconies etc. Not only for CEO, but separate space may also get to important positioned officers.
Cubicles are other separation system in offices which provide privacy in the same time it provides easy accessibility to various members of the same office.
Cubicles provide privacy to the desktop space where the staff is working, will get a shelf, draw space to keep their belongings and files, the monitor of the computer will be hiden from others of the same cubide etc.
The major division Officers in an office will e separated from the general staffs as they don’t need to get directly involved with those staff. The assistant managers and supervisors who involved with the general staff may be working in a cubide near to the staff studio which enables easy discussion between those supervisors and the staff.
Clients and guests won’t allow to the working stations as each company has got secrets in their works and they need privacy in their studios. Therefore separate waiting, relaxing rooms and client discussion areas will be provided outside the studios in each office.
Urban Privacy –Privacy in a City
Inside a city, people need visual as well as sound privacy (in a city structure it may termed as privacy from noises). As the city filled with a mixture of noises like traffic noise, Industrial, Construction works, celebrations, religious activities etc., the spaces like people live, work or travel in the city need privacy from these noise pollutions. People can’t utilize their full abilities in a work station if they are being disturbed by the traffic noises. Acoustic treatment to buildings, use of acoustic glasses, minimizing openings to public roads etc reduces these noises and privacy can be achieved.
Visual privacy in an urban area means giving identify to each group of sector of buildings, open parks and other communal spaces inside the city and separates, themselves from other urban activities.
Industrial area separation from other urban areas is primarily for reduce urban pollution to such areas but it also gives privacy to these sectors. Provision of green belts in between two sectors also provide privacy to each sector.
Privacy in Garden City Principle
i) Unified Ownership of load Principle:-
This principle says prevention of individual land speculation. By the authority of individual land the privacy of groups/sector can be sustained.
ii) Principle of Green Belts:-
Urban pollution such as noise pollution, air pollution etc can be regulated by Green belts and this can provide good environment to the city. As it reduces noise pollution, it simultaneously gives noise privacy. Similarly the areas at the two different sides of the Garden space get privacy from each other.
Privacy of a Public Open Area/Park
A public park do not use by the people if the park don’t get enough privacy from the city. If the park is situated in a traffic island at the junction of many roads and if the park is not much larger and all the travelers can easily notice the persons who use the park, then the island park will be get reduced its value.
Public park should get sound as well as visual privacy from the city. Even if it is at the middle of the city, separation should be carried out by a green belt and trees may be a solution to the problems.
Inside the park, people may come and relax by sitting in chairs, relax on lawn, lying on lawn etc. Sometimes people come as a group or alone. The park should design such as way to promote sitting as a small group but at the same time satisfying privacy from other groups relaxation for single persons etc.


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