Cover Image

The Architecture of Mixed Uses

Laura Narvaez, Alan Penn


Space syntax theory has extensively examined the role of socio-economic processes in cities, whereas in spatial economics, location and distribution of land uses are modelled to understand urban processes. It is suggested that neither field has been robustly based on a more fully conceived level of local city design, and often overlooking the morphological conditions in which space and economics intermix. This article explores the relationship between architecture and economy, and questions the extent to which they work together. In particular, the paper focuses on the concept of mixed use by considering urban and architec- tural conditions that relate to spatial and economic functions, namely in terms of location, use and form. It is found that these three interrelated factors indicate varying typologies of mixed uses depending on their urban location and, in turn, defining different forms of spatial adaptability when commercial and residential use are combined. The paper reflects on the implications of mixing uses and suggests the need for urban design and economic theories to consider the bottom-up processes of socio-economic conditions through architecture and in the overall urban configuration of the city.


location, urban form, adaptation, mixed-uses, architectural morphology, distance

Full Text: JOSS_7_2016_P107-136