Retail spaces between Rationality and Contemporary


The world is influenced by several economic changes specially the international open market organization. Which produced a general need to support the competitive ability of the Egyptian economic. That effected the urban planning and architecture in Egypt. While existing several concept and theories for the treatments of the commercial atrium spaces, its appliances distribution around the atrium and the elements of internal landscape. All is being in the scope of importance for the architects and the responsible authorities of life safety. The aim of this research goes for explaining the different concepts, theories, and application of the international and local experiences for providing the significant bases for researchers and practitioners in this field.


This research envisages some definition, principles and of commercial atrium spaces and its character within the commercial buildings. Its also envisage the physical aspects, which influence on the commercial atrium design to provide an important foundation upon which creating design can be based. It also envisages the design aspects of the commercial atrium, the using ratio of the landscape elements and the probability of appliances distribution on the different stories. And also envisages the average values of circulation and space elements and the average values of different element's area which needed to every meter square of the total leas able area.

Steps of research

  1. Defining the commercial atrium spaces and its beginning and reasons lead its appearance.
  2. Going through the history to explain the development of commercial spaces within the different stages and industrial revolution as an important stage to commercial atrium spaces appearance.
  3. Studying the contemporary theories of commercial atrium spaces for determination of physical aspects, which influence on the commercial atrium design, classification the type of commercial atrium spaces after reviewing the history and determination the general characters of commercial spaces.
  4. Analytical studies for international and local examples to determine ratios of different element's area around the atrium space, and the average values of circulation, escape elements and the design characters of the space.
  5. Comparing analysi


This research mainly aims to find out the designing factors and standards concerning the regional shopping centers in the outskirts of Greater Cairo. This factors and standards are set to be guiding lines and new designing tools that may help architects and planners in designing this type of shopping centers.

The three basic design criteria can be summed as follows: the proportional distribution of the site elements, the proportional distribution of the architectural elements of the building, and the proportional distribution of the commercial activities inside the building sales planning. These three criteria have been set to cope with the most up-to-date designs in this field and to match the domestic needs.

This research has been carried out through a multi-stage process. It has been divided into five stages, each tackling a different aspect. In stage one, three things have been dealt with.

First, a study of the main concept of the shopping system, its historical development, its influence on the development of the shopping outlets in and out of town has been carried out.

Second, a classification of shopping outlets inside towns from the functional, managerial and planning prospective has been made. The aim of this classification is to find out, in the light of the above mentioned prospective, the relation between the out of town shopping outlets and the corresponding ones that are common in town.

Third, another classification has been made to compare only the different types of the out of town shopping outlets.

This research has mainly focused on the second classification so as to define the basic characteristics of these types of commercial buildings as well as the criteria used in selecting the international models for our analytical study.

In stage tow, theoretical studies of contemporary theories of designing out of town regional shopping centers have been reviewed. The main aim was to define the vital theoretical factors and standards of this type of commercial buildings and to determine the main figures of the analytical and applied studies of both domestic and international models.

In stage three, the afore mentioned main figures have been used in analyzing many international models in order to define the international designing factors and standards of the out of town regional shopping centers.