An examination of the changing pattern of housing in the Eastern Province ofSaudi Arabia shows that recent housing, constructed under Western heightand set-back codes, has resulted in a villa or apartment house form quitedisimilar from traditional housing. However, an analysis of plan type andlayout of the new villas reveals vestigal remains of traditional spatial rela-tionships both in plan form and house-to-house relationships.Recent house plans have become room specific in a manner which was notpossible in the past but the principles of segregation between male/femaleand family/visitors continue, and may even be strengthened, no matter how'western' the houses may appear externally.Even though the house may lack the traditional courtyard and even thoughfevestration appears on all four external faces of the dwelling; room fur-nishing and room arrangements are inward looking.The planning of such villas, by family groups around a shared space allwithin a municipal sub-division, also indicates th desire to use externalspace in the manner which the dead-end street made possible.Where less constraints are placed upon house form in rural areas, we findthat houses develop, incrementally, around enclosed lot walls to create in-wardly focussed caoutyard arrangements.