In line with the first development plan issued in 1974 in Saudi Arabia, the municipality of the town of Elghat planned an area of 95 hectares to accommodate 808 lots in three sized in addition to the public services and encouraged its inhabitants to move to it only one year later. This planning was according to western standards that were newly introduced to the country in general. The settlement of the people of Elghat was originally a traditional one that was the result of an unselfconscious process developing over a long period of time and providing a strong fit between the people’s needs and their environment since it adjusted gradually to the changes within the community. Houses constructed of mud bricks and stone were divided by narrow streets and cul-de-sacs. Wall-to-wall connected courtyard houses accommodated neighbors that were either relatives or close friends, a trait that facilitated social interaction and closeness of ties. The municipality first distributed the lots to the inhabitants as grants, so those who came first got the bigger lots. People were restricted to choose a house design from three ready-made plans provided by the municipality. Furthermore, the Real Estate Development Fund gave each family 30,000 SR to finance the construction. Since reinforced concrete was introduced for the first time, the lack of technical skill and knowledge of the contractor in charge resulted in many physical shortcomings of the houses. Many of them suffered structural problems due to uneven settlement or severe cracking, while others were built in the wrong direction having the back face the main street. In addition to the technological faults in the physical form the more important disparity was between the imported concept of living that these houses supported and their inhabitants. Instead of accommodating the extended family in one house, nuclear families were encouraged to each own a separate house thus affecting the closeness of family relations. Since lots were allocated on a first-come first-serve basis the families could not intentionally choose to be neighbors meaning that the new wide streets separated them further. The spatial organisation of the houses as well did not provide for the adequate separation of men and women nor did it respect their pattern of living. Another shortcoming of these modern houses was the lack of privacy it provided since the external spaces were now subjected to the preying eyes of neighbors who could easily overlook the setbacks. The drastic change of the urban and architectural environment that these people were subjected to, yielded varying responses. At first the sense of being part of the modern world overwhelmed the inhabitants blinding them to the negative side; in fact many were happy about specific aspects of life such as having less dust to sweep and sanitary installations. However it was not long until modifications were undertaken. In general they covered one of three purposes: to fix structural problems or faults in construction, to build additions in order to accommodate the growing family and to adapt to social needs by reflecting their patterns in the built form. The concern of this paper is directed primarily to the latter of these. In that category the findings were that concerns such as the lack of privacy, the inadequacy of male and female separation, the lack of space, the inappropriate separation of public and private (guest and family) spaces and the considerations of front and back have directed the adaptations carried out. The physical reflections of these social concerns will be presented in the paper. This study examines these modifications of more than 25 years by means of constructing a spatio-temporal path that documents these alterations in accordance with the temporal changes of the families’ social life. To do so 3 representative case studies were documented and analyzed in order to extract a social pattern that was not accommodated by the original design. The case studies were acquired through fieldwork encompassing interviews with the inhabitants of the houses regarding their social pattern and their physical environment; documentation of floor plans at the present state as well as reconstructions of the floor plans throughout the occupation of the house; and taking pictures of the external and internal features of the houses. Simply put, this paper documents and analyzes the process of adaptation between the ‘modern’ house of Elghat and their inhabitants- how the people adapted to the new physical environment by developing new patterns of social conduct and how they adapted their physical forms to their unchanging societal needs. Note: Elghat is a town that lies 240 km northwest of Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh and is at least one thousand years old. It was chosen for this study due to the clarity of experience since it transformed in a very short time from a traditional town to a physically modern one.