Over the past 100 years, the Saudi dwelling has undergone a series of transformations in its form, design, and function. These evolutions were the result of economic, regulatory, intellectual, and many other influences (Bahammam, 2018). During COVID-19 lockdown, people had to live a new lifestyle, practiced learning and working remotely, and had to stay longer hours at home and keep social distance apart. Daily prayers and outdoor leisure were only limited to the confines of the household. Residents had to consider preventive health precautions such as the use of sterilizing tools and allowing for natural ventilation and daylight.

This study addresses the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the evolution of the Saudi house in Riyadh. The study exposes how residents respond to the lockdown of Covid-19 and predict the nature of this influence: is it continuous or just temporary? The importance of this study is to enrich the scientific content that discusses the relationship between Covid-19 and the built environment, and in improving the quality of Saudi housing through feedback.

This paper begins with identifying the major evolution stages for the Saudi house during the last one hundred years since the establishment of modern Saudi Arabia. Follow by analyzing a survey for more than 700 Saudi families to investigate peoples’ responses to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Results confirm a shift in the use of indoor spaces of the Saudi house during Covid-19 lockdown to accommodate activities such as remote work, distance learning, sport, and recreation. Results could not confirm if the current evolution in the use of indoor spaces is permanent and continuous. Three internal spaces were primarily affected: firstly, the guest quarter of the house mostly transferred to accommodate distance work and learning activities. Secondly, the Family living quarter mostly transferred to healthcare-related activities for the elderly. Finally, the roof and ground annexes of the house contained recreational and sports activities. The evolution of the external form of the Saudi house due to the impact of COVID-19 does not exist, this is due to the short period of the pandemic and restrict rules and regulations that band normal activities, including building construction.