Spatial configuration of dwelling units in multi-storey residential buildings: the case of apartments built in Sarajevo 2008 - 2018

  • Adnan Novalić Department of Architecture, International Burch University, Sarajevo,
  • Emina Zejnilović Department of Architecture, International Burch University, Sarajevo
Keywords: dwelling, spatial logic, configuration, areas of use, plan type


This paper is based on the premise that it is not the building as a structure that truly matters, but the spaces within the structure. Consequently, this paper takes into consideration usable space as its main substance and, by analysis and description of dwelling unit concepts in Sarajevo, it evaluates 116 apartments in 16 multi-storey residential buildings built between 2008 and 2018. All the data related to the apartments in Sarajevo is primary data, collected by means of observations and measurements, evaluated through qualitative and quantitative analysis, and set in the frame of an explanatory and comparative multiple case study. The results indicate that, in terms of their functional configuration, the apartments are mostly configured as atypical and unstandardized. The areas of use within the apartments were planned to be interrelated without any clear intentions, which has resulted in static plan types with no or only minor potential for variation in the spatial adaptability or flexibility.


Alfirević, Đ., Simonović Alfirević, S. (2018) Koncept kružne veze u stambenoj arhitekturi, Arhitektura i urbanizam, No. 46, pp. 26-38. [Alfirević, Đ., Simonović Alfirević, S. (2018) “Circular Connection” Concept in Housing Architecture, Arhitektura i urbanizam, No. 46, pp. 26-38.]

Buxton, P., Littlefield, D. (2008) Metric handbook, planning, and design data. London: Routledge, 3d edition.

Colquhoun, A. (2002) Modern Architecture, Oxford History of Art. New York: Oxford University Press.

Coolen, H., (2008) The meaning of dwelling features: Conceptual and methodological issues. Amsterdam: IOS Press under the imprint of Delft University Press.

Čanak, M. (2014) Svi moji stanovi. Belgrade: Orion art. [Čanak, M. (2014) All my apartments. Belgrade: Orion art.]

Deilmann, H., Kirschenman, C. J., Pfeiffer, H. (1979) Wohnungsbau / The Dwelling / L’Habitat, 3rd revised edition. Stuttgart: Karl Kramer Verlag.

Dobrivojević, I. (2012) Stambene prilike u jugoslovenskim gradovima 1945-1955, Istorija 20. veka, No. 2, pp. 115-130. [Dobrivojević, I. (2012) Living Conditions in the Yugoslav Cities 1945-1955, Istorija 20. veka, No. 2, pp. 115-130.]

Englund, G. L. (2015) Rebuilding Sarajevo, The Aleppo project. Budapest: Central European University, Center for Conflict Negotiation and Recovery School of Public Policy

Ernst, Z. J., Vukičević, B., Jakulj, T., Ilich, W. (2003) Sarajevo paradox: Survival throughout history and life after Balkan war, Intermarium Archived Issue, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 1-15.

Finci, J. (1962), Razvoj dispozicije i funkcije u stambenoj kulturi Sarajeva. Sarajevo: Oslobođenje,. [Finci, J. (1962) Development of Disposition and Function in Residential Culture of Sarajevo. Sarajevo: NP Oslobodjenje.]

Gavrić S., Banović, D., Krause, C. (eds.) (2009) Uvod u politički sistem Bosne i Hercegovine – izabrani aspekti. Sarajevo: Sarajevski otvoreni centar, Fondacija Konrad Adenauer. [Gavrić S., Banović, D., Krause, C. (eds.) (2009) Introduction to the Political System of Bosnia and Herzegovina – selected aspects.. Sarajevo: Sarajevski otvoreni centar, Fondacija Konrad Adenauer.]

Ginić, I. (1967) Dinamika i struktura gradskog stanovništva Jugoslavije, Demografski aspekti urbanizacije. Beograd: Institut društvenih nauka. [Ginić, I. (1967) Dynmics and structure of city population of Yugoslavia, Demographic aspects of urbanization. Belgrade: Institut društvenih nauka.]

Hall, T. E., (1990) The hidden dimension. New York: Anchor Books Editions.

Hillier, B., Hanson, J. (2003) The social logic of space. London: Cambridge University Press.

Hillier, B. (2007) Space is the machine: A Configurational theory of architecture. London: Independent Publishing Platform.

Kuntscher, M., Rollbacher, R., Herrmann, E., Wietyorrek, U., Ebner, P. (2009) Typology +. Basel: Birkhäuser Verlag AG.

Law on Construction / Zakon o građenju (2001) Bosna i Hercegovina, Vlada Federacije Bosne i Hercegovine 03-02-618/2001

Leupen, B., Mooij, H. (2011) Housing Desing, A Manual. Rotterdam: NAi Publishers.

Mecanov, D. (2015) Prostorna organizacija stambenih zgrada građenih u Beogradu od 1947. do 1980. godine u prefabrikovanim industrijalizovanim sistemima, doktorska disertacija. Beograd: Arhitektonski fakultet Univerziteta u Beogradu. [Mecanov, D. (2015) Spatial Organzation of Residential Housing Realised in Belgrade, in Period Between 1947th and 1980th Year, in Precast Industrial Systems, PhD Thesis. Belgrade: Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade.]

Neufert, E., Nufert, P. (2012), Neufert architects’ data, 4th edition. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Norberg-Schultz, C. (1985) The concept of dwelling, 1st edition. New York: Rizzoli.

Rakočević, P. M. (2003) 24 časa arhitekture. Beograd: Orion ART. [Rakočević, P. M. (2003) 24 hours of architecture. Beograd: Orion ART.]

Rapoport, A. (1990) The meaning of the built environment. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

Suvanajata, R. (2001) Relationship in Architectural Space, Design and Effects in Space of the Traditional Thai Houses and Temples, PhD Thesis, London: The Bartlett, University College London.

The City of Sarajevo - City Planning Institute (1995), Sarajevo Reconstruction Projects, DTP B Concept / Müller, Sarajevo.

Vasilski, T. (2016) On minimalism in architecture – Space as experience, SPATIUM, No. 36, pp. 61-66.

Vujović, S. (1990) Ljudi i gradovi. Beograd: FF, Budva: Mediteran. [Vujović, S. (1990) People and cities, Beograd: FF, Budva: Mediteran.]

Zagora, N., Šamić, D. (2014) Sarajevo lost in transition? Ideologies and their representational spaces, International Journal of Architectural Research, Vol. 8., Iss. 1, pp. 159-170.

Preliminary report - Short Communications