XII / ARCHITECTURE: FORM, SPACE, & ORDER INTRODUCTION Circulation system □ The stair and ramp penetrate and link the three levels, and heighten. be utilized to create order in an architectural composition. Order refers not The forms and spaces of any building should acknowledge the hierarchy inherent in. Architecture - Form, Space and Order 3rd piccologellia.info - Ebook download as PDF File ( .pdf) or read book online. Architecture - Form, Space and Order 3rd edition.
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NO YES. Selected type: Added to Your Shopping Cart. A square column has two equivalent sets of faces and therefore two identical axes. A rectangular column also has two axes, but they differ in their effect. As the rectangular column becomes more like a wall, it can appear to be merely a fragment of an infinitely larger or longer plane, slicing through and dividing a volume of space.
A vertical plane has frontal qualities. Its two surfaces or faces front on and establish the edges of two separate and distinct spatial fields. These two faces of a plane can be equivalent and front similar spaces. Or they can be differentiated in form, color, or texture, in order to respond to or articulate different spatial conditions.
A vertical plane can therefore have either two fronts or a front and a back.
The field of space on which a single vertical plane fronts is not well-defined. The plane by itself can establish only a single edge of the field. To define a three-dimensional volume of space, the plane must interact with other elements of form.
When two-feet high, a plane defines the edge of a spatial field but provides little or no sense of enclosure. When waist-high, it begins to provide a sense of enclosure while allowing for visual continuity with the adjoining space. When it approaches our eye level in height, it begins to separate one space from another. Above our height, a plane interrupts the visual and spatial continuity between two fields and provides a strong sense of enclosure.
When related to a defined volume of space, a vertical plane can be the primaryface of the space and give it a specific orientation.
It can front the space and define a plane of entry into it. It can be a freestanding element within a space and divide the volume into two separate but related areas. Agostino, Rome, , Giacomo da Pietrasanta a larger volume. The partitions never form closed, geometrically static areas. While this field is strongly defined and enclosed at the corner of the configuration, it dissipates rapidly as it moves away from the corner.
The introverted field at the interior corner becomes extroverted along its outer edges. While two edges of the field are clearly defined by the two planes of the configuration, its other edges remain ambiguous unless further articulated by additional vertical elements, manipulations of the base plane, or an overhead plane. The two planes will be isolated from each other and one will appear to slide by and visually dominate the other.
If neither plane extends to the corner, the field will become more dynamic and organize itself along the diagonal of the configuration. Oneofthearmsofthe configuration can be a linear form that incorporates the corner within its boundaries while the other arm is seen as an appendage to it. Or the corner can be articulated as an independent element that joins two linear forms together.
L-shaped configurations of planes are stable and self- supporting and can stand alone in space. Because they are open-ended, they are flexible space-defining elements.
They can be used in combination with one another or with other elements of form to define a rich variety of spaces. Typically, one wing contains the communal living spaces while the other contains private, individual spaces. The service and utility spaces usually occupy a corner position orare strung along the backside of one of the wings. The advantage of this type of layout is its provision of a private courtyard, sheltered by the building form and to which interior spaces can be directly related.
In the Kingo Housing estate, a fairly high density is achieved with this type of unit, each with its own private outdoor space. The outdoor space enclosed by the architect's studio in Helsinki is used as an amphitheater for lectures and social occasions. It is not a passive space whose form is determined by the building that encloses it. Rather, it asserts its positive form and pressures the form of its enclosure.
The History Faculty Building at Cambridge uses a seven-story, L-shaped block to functionally and symbolically enclose a large, roof-lit library, which is the most important space in the building. The open ends of the field, established by the vertical edges of the planes, give the space a strong directional quality. Its primary orientation is along the axis about which the planes are symmetrical.
Since the parallel planes do not meet to form corners and fully enclose the field, the space is extroverted in nature. The definition of the spatial field along the open ends of the configuration can be visually reinforced by manipulating the base plane or adding overhead elements to the composition.
The spatial field can be expanded by extending the base plane beyond the open ends of the configuration. This expanded field can, in turn, be terminated by a vertical plane whose width and height is equal to that of the field. If one of the parallel planes is differentiated from the other by a change in form, color, or texture, a secondary axis, perpendicular to the flow of the space, will be established within the field. Openings in one or both of the planes can also introduce secondary axes to the field and modulate the directional quality of the space.
Their spatial fields can be related to one another either through the open ends of their configurations orthrough openings in the planes themselves. These linear spaces can be defined by the facades of the buildings fronting them, as well as by the more permeable planes established by colonnades, arcades, or rows of trees.
The flow of the space defined by parallel planes corresponds naturally to the paths of movement within a building, along its corridors, halls, and galleries.
The parallel planes that define a circulation space can be solid and opaque to provide privacy for the spaces along the circulation path. The planes can also be established by a row of columns so that the circulation path, open on one or both of its sides, becomes part of the spaces it passes through. Their repetitive pattern can be modified by varying their length or by introducing voids within the planes to accommodate the dimensional requirements of larger spaces.
These voids can also define circulation paths and establish visual relationships perpendicularto the wall planes. The slots of space defined by parallel wall planes can also be modulated by altering the spacing and configuration of the planes. They not only provide structural support for the floors and roofs of each housing unit, but also serve to isolate the units from one another, curb the passage of sound, and check the spread of fire.
The pattern of parallel bearing walls is particularly appropriate for rowhousing and town house schemes where each unit is provided with two orientations. Atthe closed end of the configuration, the field is well defined. Toward the open end of the configuration, the field becomes extroverted in nature. The open end is the primary aspect of the configuration by virtue of its uniqueness relative to the other three planes.
It allows the field to have visual and spatial continuity with the adjoining space. The extension of the spatial field into the adjoining space can be visually reinforced by continuing the base plane beyond the open end of the configuration. If the plane ofthe opening is further defined with columns or overhead elements, the definition ofthe original field will be reinforced and continuity with the adjoining space will be interrupted.
If the configuration of planes is rectangular and oblong in form, the open end can be along its narrow or wide side. In either case, the open end will remain the primary face ofthe spatial field, and the plane opposite the open end will be the principal element among the three planes ofthe configuration.
If the field is entered through an opening in one of the planes, the view of what lies beyond the open end will draw our attention and terminate the sequence. If the end of a long, narrow field is open, the space will encourage movement and induce a progression or sequence of events.
If the field is square, or nearly square, the space will be static and have the character of a place to be in, rather than a space to move through.
If the side of a long, narrow field is open, the space will be susceptible to a subdivision into a number of zones. U-shaped configurations of building forms and organizations have the inherent ability to capture and define outdoor space.
Their composition can be seen to consist essentially of linear forms. The corners of the configuration can be articulated as independent elements or can be incorporated into the body of the linearforms. Pergamon, Asia Minor, 4th century B. A U-shaped building form can also serve as a container and can organize within its field a cluster of forms and spaces. The cells form an enclave for a village of community rooms. Athens early Anatolian or Aegean house U-shaped enclosures of interior space have a specific orientation toward their open ends.
These U-shaped enclosures can group themselves around a central space to form an introverted organization. The Hotel for Students at Otaniemi, by Alvar Aalto, demonstrates the use of U-shaped enclosures to define the basic unit of space in double-loaded schemes for dormitories, apartment, and hotels.
These units are extroverted. They turn their back on the corridor and orient themselves to the exterior environment. CLOSURE Four vertical planes encompassing a field of space is probablythe most typical, and certainly the strongest, type of spatial definition in architecture. Since the field is completely enclosed, its space is naturally introverted. To achieve visual dominance within a space or become its primary face, one of the enclosing planes can be differentiated from the others by its size, form, surface articulation, or by the nature of the openings within it.
Well-defined, enclosed fields of space can be found in architecture at various scales, from a large urban square, to a courtyard or atrium space, to a single hall or room within a building complex. The examples on this and the following pages illustrate enclosed spatial fields in both urban and building-scale situations. Historically, four planes have often been used to define a visual and spatial field for a sacred or significant building that stands as an object within the enclosure.
The enclosing planes may be ramparts, walls, or fences that isolate the field and exclude surrounding elements from the precinct.
House, Ur of the Chaldees, c. The examples on these two pages illustrate the use of enclosed volumes of space as ordering elements about which the spaces of a building can be clustered and organized. These organizing spaces can generally be characterized by their centrality, their clarity of definition, their regularity of form, and their dominating size.
They are manifested here in the atrium spaces of houses, the arcaded cortile of an Italian palazzo, the enclosure of a Greek shrine, the courtyard of a Finnish town hall, and the cloister of a monastery. Doors offer entry into a room and influence the patterns of movement and use within it. Windows allow light to penetrate the space and illuminate the surfaces of a room, offer views from the room to the exterior, establish visual relationships between the room and adjacent spaces, and provide forthe natural ventilation of the space.
While these openings provide continuity with adjacent spaces, they can, depending on their size, number, and location, also begin to weaken the enclosure of the space. The following section of this chapter focuses on enclosed spaces at the scale of a room, where the nature of the openings within the room's enclosure is a major factor in determining the quality of its space.
Skylight At Corners Along one edge Along two edges Turning a corner Grouped An opening can be located along one edge or at a corner of a wall or ceiling plane. In either case, the opening will be at a corner of a space. It can grow in size to occupy an entire wall of a space. If centered within the plane, the opening will appear stable and visually organize the surface around it. Moving the opening off-center will create a degree of visual tension between the opening and the edges of the plane toward which it is moved.
The shape of the opening, if similar to the shape of the plane in which it is located, will create a redundant compositional pattern. The shape or orientation of the opening may contrast with the enclosing plane to emphasize its individuality as a figure. The singularity of the opening may be visually reinforced with a heavy frame or articulated trimwork.
As an opening within a plane increases in size, it will at some point cease to be a figure within an enclosing field and become instead a positive element in itself, a transparent plane bounded by a heavy frame.
Openings within planes naturally appear brighter than their adjacent surfaces. If the contrast in brightness along the edges of the openings becomes excessive, the surfaces can be illuminated by a second light source from within the space, or a deep-set opening can be formed to create illuminated surfaces between the opening and the surrounding plane. This directional effect may be desirable for compositional reasons, orthe corner opening may be established to capture a desirable view or brighten a dark corner of a space.
A corner opening visually erodes the edges of the plane in which it is located and articulates the edge of the plane adjacent and perpendicular to it. The larger the opening, the weaker will be the definition of the corner.
If the opening were to turn the corner, the angle of the space would be implied rather than real and the spatial field would extend beyond its enclosing planes.
If openings are introduced between the enclosing planes at all four corners of a space, the individual identity of the planes will be reinforced and diagonal or pinwheel patterns of space, use, and movement will be encouraged.
The lig ht that enters a space throug h a corner opening washes the surface of the plane adjacent and perpen- dicular to the opening. This illuminated surface itself becomes a source of light and enhances the brightness of the space.
The level of illumination can be enhanced further by turning the corner with the opening or adding a skylightabove the opening. If located at a corner, the vertical opening will erode the definition of the space and allow it to extend beyond the corner to the adjacent space.
It will also allow incoming light to wash the surface of the wall plane perpendicular to it and articulate the primacy of that plane in the space. If allowed to turn the corner, the vertical opening will further erode the definition of the space, allow it to interlock with adjacent spaces, and emphasize the individuality of the enclosing planes.
A horizontal opening that extends across a wall plane will separate it into a number of horizontal layers. If the opening is not very deep, it will not erode the integrity of the wall plane.
If, however, its depth increases to the point where it is greater than the bands above and below it, then the opening will become a positive element bounded at its top and bottom by heavy frames. Turning a corner with a horizontal opening reinforces the horizontal layering of a space and broadens the panoramic view from within the space. If the opening continues around the space, it will visually lift the ceiling plane from the wall planes, isolate it, and give ita feeling of lightness.
Locating a linear skylight along the edge where a wall and ceiling plane meet allows incoming light to wash the surface of the wall, illuminate it, and enhance the brightness of the space. The form of the skylight can be manipulated to capture direct sunlight, indirect daylight, or a combination of both.
If they are oriented to capture direct sunlight, sun- shading devices may be necessary to reduce glare and excessive heat gain within the space. While a window-wall weakens the vertical boundaries of a space, it creates the potential for visually expanding the space beyond its physical boundaries.
Living Room, Villa Mairea, Noormarkku, Finland, , AlvarAalto Combining a window-wall with a large skylight overhead creates a sun room or green house space. The boundaries between inside and outside, defined by the linear members of a frame, become obscure and tenuous.
The qualities of an architectural space, however, are much richer than what the diagrams are able to portray. The spatial qualities of form, proportion, scale, texture, light, and sound ultimately depend on the properties of the enclosure of a space. Our perception of these qualities is often a response to the combined effects of the properties encountered and is conditioned by culture, prior experiences, and personal interest or inclination.
Chapter 6 presents the issues of dimensions, proportion, and scale. While the first part of this chapter outlines how basic configurations of linear and planar elements define volumes of space, this concluding section describes how the size, shape, and location of openings or voids within the enclosing forms of a space influence the following qualities of a room: From within a space, we see only the surface of a wall. It is this thin layer of material that forms the vertical boundary of the space.
The actual thickness of a wall plane can be revealed only along the edges of door and window openings. While these openings erode the overall form of a space, they also promote its visual continuity and interaction with adjacent spaces.
As these openings increase in number and size, the space loses its sense of enclosure, becomes more diffuse, and begins to merge with adjacent spaces. The visual emphasis is on the enclosing planes ratherthan the volume of space defined by the planes. Our eyes are made to see forms in light; Notre Dame Du Haut, Ronchamp, France, , Le Corbusier The sun is the rich source of natural light for the illumination of forms and spaces in architecture. While the sun's radiation is intense, the quality of its light, manifested in the form of direct sunlight or diffuse daylight, varies with the time of day, from season to season, and from place to place.
As the luminous energy of the sun is dispersed by clouds, haze, and precipitation, it transmits the changing colors of the sky and the weather to the forms and surfaces it illuminates. With the shifting patterns of light, shade, and shadows that it creates, the sun animates the space of the room, and articulates the forms within it. F3y its intensity and dispersion within the room, the luminous energy of the sun can clarify the form of the space or distort it.
The color and brilliance of sunlight can create a festive atmosphere within the room or a more diffuse daylight can instill within it a somber mood. Since the intensity and direction of the light the sun radiates is fairly predictable, its visual impact on the surfaces, forms, and space of a room can be predicated on the size, location, and orientation of windows and skylights within the enclosure.
The size of an opening in a wall or roof plane, however, is also regulated by factors otherthan light, such as the materials and construction of the wall or roof plane; requirements for views, visual privacy, and ventilation; the desired degree of enclosure for the space; and the effect of openings on the exterior form of a building. The location and orientation of a window or skylight, therefore, can be more important than its size in determining the quality of daylight a room receives.
An opening can be oriented to receive direct sunlight during certain portions of the day. Direct sunlight provides a high degree of illumination that is especially intense during mid- day hours. It creates sharp patterns of light and dark on the surfaces of a room and crisply articulates the forms within the space. Possible detrimental effects of direct sunlight, such as glare and excessive heat gain, can be controlled by shading devices built into theform of the opening or pro- vided by the foliage of nearby trees or adjacent structures.
An opening can also beoriented away from direct sunlight and receive instead the diffuse, ambient light from the sky vault overhead. The sky vault is a beneficial source of day- light since it remains fairly constant, even on cloudy days, and can help to soften the harshness of direct sunlig ht and balance the light level within a space.
When located entirely within a wall plane, an opening can appear as a bright spot of light on a darker surface. This condition can induce glare if an excessive degree of contrast exists between the brig ht- ness of the opening and the darker surface surrounding it.
The uncomfortable or debilitating glare caused by excessive brightness ratios between adjacent surfaces or areas in a room can be ameliorated by allowing day- light to enter the space from at least two directions. When an opening is located along the edge of a wall or at the corner of a room, the daylight entering through it will wash the surface of the wall adjacent and perpen dicular to the plane of the opening. This illuminated surface itself becomesa source of light and enhances the light level within the space.
Additional factors influence the quality of light within a room. The shape and articulation of an opening is reflected in the shadow pattern cast by sunlight on the forms and surfaces of the room. The color and texture of theseforms and surfaces, in turn, affecttheir reflectiv- ity and the ambient light level within the space. While some rooms have an internal focus, such as a fireplace, others have an outward orientation given to them by a view to the outdoors or an adjacent space.
Window and skylight openings provide this view and establish a visual relationship between a room and its surroundings.
The size and location of these openings determine, of course, the nature of the outlook as well as the degree of visual privacy for an interior space.
A long, narrow opening, whether vertical or horizontal, can not only separate two planes but also hint at what lies beyond. A group of windows can be sequenced to fragment a scene and encourage movement within a space.
As an opening expands, it opens a room up to a broad vista. The large scene can dominate a space or serve as a backdrop for the activities within it. Interior design elements can also provide subjects for visual attention. A good house is a single thing, as well as a collection of many, and to make it requires a conceptual leap from the individual components to a vision of the whole.
The choices. They can also make space, pattern, and outside domains. They dramatize the most elementary act which architecture has to perform. To make one plus one equal more than two, you must in doing any one thing you think important making rooms, putting them together, or fitting them to the land do something else that you think important as well make spaces to live, establish a meaningful pattern inside, or claim other realms outside.
Few buildings, however, consist of a solitary space. They are normally composed of a number of spaces which are related to one another by function, proximity, or a path of movement.
This chapter lays out for study and discussion the basic ways the spaces of a building can be related to one another and organized into coherent patterns of form and space.
Space within a Space A space may be contained within the volume of a larger space. Interlocking Spaces The f ield of a space may overla p the vol ume of another space. Adjacent Spaces Two spaces may abut each other or share a common border. Spaces Linked by a Common Space Two spaces may rely on an intermediary space for their relationship. Visual and spatial continuity between the two spaces can be easily accommodated, but the smaller, contained space depends on the larger, enveloping space for its relationship to the exterior environment.
In this type of spatial relationship, the larger, enveloping space serves as a three-dimensional field for the smaller space contained within it. For this concept to be per- ceived, a clear differentiation in size is necessary between the two spaces. If the contained space were to increase in size, the larger space would begin to lose its impact as an enveloping form. If the contained space continued to grow, the residual space around it would become too com- pressed to serve as an enveloping space.
It would become instead merely a thin layer or skin around the contained space. The original notion would be destroyed. To endow itself with a higher attention-value, the contained space may share the form of the enveloping shape, but be oriented in a different manner.
This would create a secondary grid and a set of dynamic, residual spaces within the larger space. The contained space may also differ in form from the enveloping space in order to strengthen its image as a freestanding volume. This contrast in form may indicate a functional difference between the two spaces or the symbolic importance of the contained space.
When two spaces interlock their volumes in this manner, each retains its identity and definition as a space. But the resulting configuration of the two interlocking spaces is subject to a number of interpretations. The interlocking portion of the two volumes can be shared equally by each space. The interlocking portion can merge with one of the spaces and become an integral part of its volume. The interlocking portion can develop its own integrity as a space that serves to link the two original spaces.
It allows each space to be clearly defined and to respond, each in its own way, to specific functional or symbolic requirements. The degree of visual and spatial continuity that occurs between two adjacent spaces depends on the nature of the plane that both separates and binds them together. This and the preceding two cases can also be read as single volumes of space which are divided into two related zones.
The walls that enclose them adapttheirforms to accommodate the differences between adjacent spaces. The visual and spatial relationship between the two spaces depends on the nature of the third space with which they share a common bond.
The intermediate space can differ in form and orientation from the two spaces to express its linking function. The two spaces, as well as the intermediate space, can be equivalent in size and shape and form a linear sequence of spaces. The intermediate space can itself become linear in form to link two spaces that are distant from each other, or join a whole series of spaces that have no direct relationship to one another.
The intermediate space can, if large enough, become the dominant space in the relationship, and be capable of organizing a number of spacesabout itself. The form of the intermediate space can be residual in nature and be determined solely by the forms and orientations of the two spaces being linked.
In a typical building program, there are usually requirements for various kinds of spaces. There may be requirements for spaces that: ABauhausStudy The manner in which these spaces are arranged can clarify their relative importance and functional or symbolic role in the organization of a building.
The decision as to what type of organization to use in a specific situation will depend on: A range of examples then illustrates the basic points made in the introduction.
Each of the examples should be studied in terms of: How are they defined? The central, unifying space of the organization is generally regular in form and large enough in size to gather a number of secondary spaces about its perimeter. The secondary spaces of the organization may be equivalent to one another in func- tion, form, and size, and create an overall configuration that is geometrically regular and symmetrical about two or more axes.
This dif- ferentiation among the secondary spaces also allows the form of a centralized orga- nization to respond to the environmental conditions of its site. The pattern of circulation and movement within a centralized organization may be radial, loop, or spiral in form. In almost every case, however, the pattern will terminate in or around the central space. I Centralized organizations whose forms are relatively compact and geometrically regular can be used to: These spaces can either be directly related to one another or be linked through a separate and distinct linear space.
A linear organization usually consists of repetitive spaces which are alike in size, form, and function. It may also consist of a single linear space that organizes along its length a series of spaces that differ in size, form, or function. In both cases, each space along the sequence has an exterior exposure. Their significance can also be emphasized by their location: To limit their growth, linear organizations can be terminated by a dominant space or form, by an elaborate or articulated entrance, or by merging with another building form or the topography of its site.
It can adapt to changes in topography, maneuver around a body of water or a stand of trees, or turn to orient spaces to capture sunlight and views. It can be straight, segmented, or curvilinear. It can run horizontally across its site, diagonally up a slope, or stand vertically as a tower. J Curved and segmented forms of linear organizations enclose a field of exterior space on their concave sides and orient their spaces toward the center of the field.
On their concave sides, these forms appear to front space and exclude it from their fields. It consists of a dominant central space from which a number of linear organizations extend in a radial manner.
Whereas a centralized organization is an introverted scheme that focuses inward on its central space, a radial organization is an extroverted plan that reaches out to its context. With its linear arms, it can extend and attach itself to specific elements or features of its site. The linear arms, for which the central space is the hub, may be similar to one another in form and length and maintain the regularity of the organization's overall form.
A The radiating arms may also differ from one another in order to respond to individual requirements of function and context. A specific variation of a radial organization is the pinwheel pattern wherein the linear arms of the organization extend from the sides of a square or rectangular central space. This arrangement results in a dynamic pattern that visually suggests a rotational movement about the central space. It often consists of repetitive, cellular spaces that have similar functions and share a common visual trait such as shape or orientation.
A clustered organization can also accept within its composition spaces that are dissimilar in size, form, and function, but related to one another by proximity or a visual ordering device such as symmetry or an axis. Because its pattern does not originate from a rigid geometrical concept, the form of a clustered organization is flexible and can accept growth and change readily without affecting its character.
CI u stered spaces ca n be orga n ized a bo ut a poi nt of entry into a building or along the path of movement through it.
The spaces can also be clustered about a large defined field or volume of space. This pattern is similar to that of a centralized organization, but it lacks the latter's compactness and geometrical regularity.
The spaces of a clustered organization can also be contained within a defined field or volume of space. Since there is no in herent place of importance within the pattern of a clustered organization, the significance of a space must be articulated by its size, form, or orientation within the pattern.
Symmetry or an axial condition can be used to strengthen and unify portions of a clustered organization and help articulate the importance of a space or group of spaces within the organization. Projected into the third dimension, the grid pattern is transformed into a set of repetitive, modular units of space. The organizing power of a grid results from the regularity and continuity of its pattern that pervades the elements it organizes.
Its pattern establishes a stable set or field of reference points and lines in space with which the spaces of a grid organization, although dissimilar in size, form, or function, can share a common relationship. Within the field of this grid, spaces can occur as isolated events or as repetitions of the grid module.
Regardless of their disposition within the field, these spaces, if seen as positive forms, will creates second set of negative spaces. Since a three-dimensional grid consists of repetitive, modular units of space, it can be subtracted from, added to, or layered, and still maintain its identity as a grid with the ability to organize spaces.
These formal manipulations can be used to adapt a grid form to its site, to define an entrance or outdoor space, or to allow for its growth and expansion. To accommodate the specific dimensional requirements of its spaces or to articulate zones of space for circulation or service, a grid can be made irregular in one or two directions.
This dimensional transformation would create a hierarchical set of modules differentiated by size, proportion, and location. Portions of the grid can slide to alter the visual and spatial continuity across its field.
A grid pattern can be interrupted to define a major space or accommodate a natural feature of its site. A portion of the grid can be dislocated and rotated about a point in the basic pattern.
Across its field, a grid can transform its image from a pattern of points to lines, to planes, and finally, to volumes. We believe that the most essential and memorable sense of three-dimensionality originates in the body experience and that this sense may constitute a basis for understanding spatial feeling in our experience of buildings.
The interplay between the world of our bodies and the world of our dwelling places is always in flux. We make places that are an expression of our haptic experiences even as these experiences are generated by the places we have already created.
Whether we are conscious or innocent of this process, our bodies and our movement are in constant dialogue with our buildings. Since we move in Time through a Sequence of Spaces, we experience a space in relation to where we've been and where we anticipate going. This chapter presents the principal components of a building's circulation system as positive elements that affect our perception of the forms and spaces of the building. This is the first phase of the circulation system, during which we are prepared to see, experience, and use the spaces within a building.
The approach to a building and its entrance may vary in duration from a few paces through a compressed space to a lengthy and circuitous route. In all cases, however, these elements and systems should be interrelated to form an integrated whole having a unifying or coherent structure. Architectural order is created when the organization of parts makes visible their relationships to each other and the structure as a whole.
When these relationships are perceived as mutually reinforcing and contributing to the singular nature of the whole, then a conceptual order exists—an order that may well be more enduring than transient perceptual visions. Its inside order accommodates the multiple functions of a house, domestic scale, and partial mystery inherent in a sense of privacy. Its outside order expresses the unity of the idea of house at an easy scale appropriate to the green field it dominated and possibly to the city it will one day be part of.
If the line shifts to form a plane, we obtain a two-dimensional element. In the movement from plane to spaces, the clash of planes gives rise to body three-dimensional. A summary of the kinetic energies which move the point into a line, the line into a plane, and the plane into a spatial dimension.
Each element is first considered as a conceptual element, then as a visual element in the vocabulary of architectural design. While they do not actually exist, we nevertheless feel their presence. We can sense a point at the meeting of two lines, a line marking the contour of a plane, a plane enclosing a volume, and the volume of an object that occupies space.
When made visible to the eye on paper or in three-dimensional space, these elements become form with characteristics of substance, shape, size, color, and texture. As we experience these forms in our environment, we should be able to perceive in their structure the existence of the primary elements of point, line, plane, and volume.
A point extended becomes a Line with properties of: Conceptually, it has no length, width, or depth, and is therefore static, centralized, and directionless. As the prime element in the vocabulary of form, a point can serve to mark: At the center of its environment, a point is stable and at rest, organizing surrounding elements about itself and dominating its field.
When the point is moved off-center, however, its field becomes more aggressive and begins to compete for visual supremacy. Visual tension is created between the point and its field. To visibly mark a position in space or on the ground plane, a point must be projected vertically into a linear form, as a column, obelisk, or tower.
Any such columnar element is seen in plan as a point and therefore retains the visual characteristics of a point. Other point-generated forms that share these same visual attributes are the: The equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius marks the center of this urban space.
Mont S. Michel, France, 13th century and later. The pyramidal composition culminates in a spire that serves to establish this fortified monastery as a specific place in the landscape. Although the points give this line finite length, the line can also be considered a segment of an infinitely longer path.
Two points further suggest an axis perpendicular to the line they describe and about which they are symmetrical. Because this axis may be infinite in length, it can be at times more dominant than the described line. In both cases, however, the described line and the perpendicular axis are optically more dominant than the infinite number of lines that may pass through each of the individual points.
Extended vertically, the two points define both a plane of entry and an approach perpendicular to it. The Mall, Washington, D. Conceptually, a line has length, but no width or depth.
Whereas a point is by nature static, a line, in describing the path of a point in motion, is capable of visually expressing direction, movement, and growth. A line is a critical element in the formation of any visual construction. It can serve to: It is seen as a line simply because its length dominates its width.
The character of a line, whether taut or limp, bold or tentative, graceful or ragged, is determined by our perception of its length—width ratio, its contour, and its degree of continuity. Even the simple repetition of like or similar elements, if continuous enough, can be regarded as a line. This type of line has significant textural qualities. The orientation of a line affects its role in a visual construction. While a vertical line can express a state of equilibrium with the force of gravity, symbolize the human condition, or mark a position in space, a horizontal line can represent stability, the ground plane, the horizon, or a body at rest.
An oblique line is a deviation from the vertical or horizontal. It may be seen as a vertical line falling or a horizontal line rising.
In either case, whether it is falling toward a point on the ground plane or rising to a place in the sky, it is dynamic and visually active in its unbalanced state.
Bell Tower, Church at Vuoksenniska, Finland, , Alvar Aalto Menhir, a prehistoric monument consisting of an upright megalith, usually standing alone but sometimes aligned with others. Obelisk of Luxor, Place de la Concorde, Paris. The obelisk, which marked the entrance to the Amon temple at Luxor, was given by the viceroy of Egypt, Mohamed Ali, to Louis Phillipe and installed in Vertical linear elements can also define a transparent volume of space. In the example illustrated to the left, four minaret towers outline a spatial field from which the dome of the Selim Mosque rises in splendor.
Selim Mosque, Edirne, Turkey, A. In these three examples, linear elements: The sculptured female figures stand as columnar supports for the entablature. Salginatobel Bridge, Switzerland, —30, Robert Maillart.
Beams and girders have the bending strength to span the space between their supports and carry transverse loads. Katsura Imperial Villa, Kyoto, Japan, 17th century.
Linear columns and beams together form a three-dimensional framework for architectural space. An example is the axis, a regulating line established by two distant points in space and about which elements are symmetrically arranged. Villa Aldobrandini, Italy, —, Giacomo Della Porta House 10, , John Hejduk Although architectural space exists in three dimensions, it can be linear in form to accommodate the path of movement through a building and link its spaces to one another. Buildings also can be linear in form, particularly when they consist of repetitive spaces organized along a circulation path.
As illustrated here, linear building forms have the ability to enclose exterior spaces as well as adapt to the environmental conditions of a site. These lines can be expressed by joints within or between building materials, by frames around window or door openings, or by a structural grid of columns and beams.
How these linear elements affect the texture of a surface will depend on their visual weight, spacing, and direction. A transparent spatial membrane can be stretched between them to acknowledge their visual relationship. The closer these lines are to each other, the stronger will be the sense of plane they convey. A series of parallel lines, through their repetitiveness, reinforces our perception of the plane they describe.
As these lines extend themselves along the plane they describe, the implied plane becomes real and the original voids between the lines revert to being mere interruptions of the planar surface. The diagrams illustrate the transformation of a row of round columns, initially supporting a portion of a wall, then evolving into square piers which are an integral part of the wall plane, and finally becoming pilasters—remnants of the original columns occurring as a relief along the surface of the wall.
A colonnaded facade can be penetrated easily for entry, offers a degree of shelter from the elements, and forms a semi-transparent screen that unifies individual building forms behind it.
The Basilica, Vicenza, Italy. Andrea Palladio designed this two-story loggia in to wrap around an existing medieval structure. This addition not only buttressed the existing structure but also acted as a screen that disguised the irregularity of the original core and presented a uniform but elegant face to the Piazza del Signori.
These two examples illustrate how columns can define the edges of an exterior space defined within the mass of a building as well as articulate the edges of a building mass in space. Temple of Athena Polias, Priene, c. Philibert, Tournus, France, — This view of the nave shows how rows of columns can provide a rhythmic measure of space. Vertical and horizontal linear elements together can define a volume of space such as the solarium illustrated to the right.
Note that the form of the volume is determined solely by the configuration of the linear elements. Conceptually, a plane has length and width, but no depth. Shape is the primary identifying characteristic of a plane.
It is determined by the contour of the line forming the edges of a plane. Because our perception of shape can be distorted by perspective foreshortening, we see the true shape of a plane only when we view it frontally. The supplementary properties of a plane—its surface color, pattern, and texture—affect its visual weight and stability. In the composition of a visual construction, a plane serves to define the limits or boundaries of a volume.
If architecture as a visual art deals specifically with the formation of threedimensional volumes of mass and space, then the plane should be regarded as a key element in the vocabulary of architectural design. The properties of each plane—size, shape, color, texture —as well as their spatial relationship to one another ultimately determine the visual attributes of the form they define and the qualities of the space they enclose.
In architectural design, we manipulate three generic types of planes: Overhead Plane The overhead plane can be either the roof plane that spans and shelters the interior spaces of a building from the climatic elements, or the ceiling plane that forms the upper enclosing surface of a room.
Wall Plane The wall plane, because of its vertical orientation, is active in our normal field of vision and vital to the shaping and enclosure of architectural space. Base Plane The base plane can be either the ground plane that serves as the physical foundation and visual base for building forms, or the floor plane that forms the lower enclosing surface of a room upon which we walk.
Along with climate and other environmental conditions of a site, the topographical character of the ground plane influences the form of the building that rises from it.
The building can merge with the ground plane, rest firmly on it, or be elevated above it. The ground plane itself can be manipulated as well to establish a podium for a building form. It can be elevated to honor a sacred or significant place; bermed to define outdoor spaces or buffer against undesirable conditions; carved or terraced to provide a suitable platform on which to build; or stepped to allow changes in elevation to be easily traversed.
Scala de Spagna Spanish Steps , Rome, — Three terraces approached by ramps rise toward the base of the cliffs where the chief sanctuary is cut deep into the rock.
Machu Picchu, an ancient Incan city established c. It may be a durable covering of the ground plane or a more artificial, elevated plane spanning the space between its supports.
In either case, the texture and density of the flooring material influences both the acoustical quality of a space and how we feel as we walk across its surface. While the pragmatic, supportive nature of the floor plane limits the extent to which it can be manipulated, it is nonetheless an important element of architectural design. Its shape, color, and pattern determine to what degree it defines spatial boundaries or serves as a unifying element for the different parts of a space.
Like the ground plane, the form of a floor plane can be stepped or terraced to break the scale of a space down to human dimensions and create platforms for sitting, viewing, or performing. It can be elevated to define a sacred or honorific place. It can be rendered as a neutral ground against which other elements in a space are seen as figures. Maria Novella, Florence, — The Renaissance facade by Alberti presents a public face to a square.
Exterior wall planes isolate a portion of space to create a controlled interior environment. Their construction provides both privacy and protection from the climatic elements for the interior spaces of a building, while openings within or between their boundaries reestablish a connection with the exterior environment. As exterior walls mold interior space, they simultaneously shape exterior space and describe the form, massing, and image of a building in space.
Uffizi Palace, —65, Giorgio Vasari. As a design element, the plane of an exterior wall can be articulated as the front or primary facade of a building. In urban situations, these facades serve as walls that define courtyards, streets, and such public gathering places as squares and marketplaces.
Piazza of San Marco, Venice. When arranged in a parallel series to support an overhead floor or roof plane, bearing walls define linear slots of space with strong directional qualities. These spaces can be related to one another only by interrupting the bearing walls to create perpendicular zones of space. Peyrissac Residence, Cherchell, North Africa, , Le Corbusier Country House in Brick, Project, , Mies van der Rohe In the project to the right, freestanding brick bearing walls, together with L-shaped and T-shaped configurations of planes, create an interlocking series of spaces.
Their visual properties, their relationship to one another, and the size and distribution of openings within their boundaries determine both the quality of the spaces they define and the degree to which adjoining spaces relate to one another. As a design element, a wall plane can merge with the floor or ceiling plane, or be articulated as an element isolated from adjacent planes.
It can be treated as a passive or receding backdrop for other elements in the space, or it can assert itself as a visually active element within a room by virtue of its form, color, texture, or material. While walls provide privacy for interior spaces and serve as barriers that limit our movement, doorways and windows reestablish continuity with neighboring spaces and allow the passage of light, heat, and sound.
As they increase in size, these openings begin to erode the natural sense of enclosure walls provide. Views seen through the openings become part of the spatial experience. The lamella structure expresses the way forces are resolved and channeled down to the roof supports. While we walk on a floor and have physical contact with walls, the ceiling plane is usually out of our reach and is almost always a purely visual event in a space.
It may be the underside of an overhead floor or roof plane and express the form of its structure as it spans the space between its supports, or it may be suspended as the upper enclosing surface of a room or hall.
The detached vaulted ceiling plane appears to float above the bed. As a detached lining, the ceiling plane can symbolize the sky vault or be the primary sheltering element that unifies the different parts of a space. It can serve as a repository for frescoes and other means of artistic expression or be treated simply as a passive or receding surface.
It can be raised or lowered to alter the scale of a space or to define spatial zones within a room. Its form can be manipulated to control the quality of light or sound within a space. Church at Vuoksenniska, Finland, , Alvar Aalto. The form of the ceiling plane defines a progression of spaces and enhances their acoustical quality. The form and geometry of its structure is established by the manner in which it spans across space to bear on its supports and slopes to shed rain and melting snow.
As a design element, the roof plane is significant because of the impact it can have on the form and silhouette of a building within its setting. Dolmen, a prehistoric monument consisting of two or more large upright stones supporting a horizontal stone slab, found especially in Britain and France and usually regarded as a burial place for an important person. The roof plane can be hidden from view by the exterior walls of a building or merge with the walls to emphasize the volume of the building mass.
It can be expressed as a single sheltering form that encompasses a variety of spaces beneath its canopy, or comprise a number of hats that articulate a series of spaces within a single building. A roof plane can extend outward to form overhangs that shield door and window openings from sun or rain, or continue downward further still to relate itself more closely to the ground plane. In warm climates, it can be elevated to allow cooling breezes to flow across and through the interior spaces of a building.
The low sloping roof planes and broad overhangs are characteristic of the Prairie School of Architecture. A grid of columns elevates the reinforced concrete roof slab above the main volume of the house. Reinforced concrete slabs express the horizontality of the floor and roof planes as they cantilever outward from a central vertical core.
The overall form of a building can be endowed with a distinctly planar quality by carefully introducing openings that expose the edges of vertical and horizontal planes. These planes can be further differentiated and accentuated by changes in color, texture, or material.
Asymmetrical compositions of simple rectangular forms and primary colors characterized the de Stijl school of art and architecture. Conceptually, a volume has three dimensions: All volumes can be analyzed and understood to consist of: It is established by the shapes and interrelationships of the planes that describe the boundaries of the volume.
As the three-dimensional element in the vocabulary of architectural design, a volume can be either a solid— space displaced by mass—or a void—space contained or enclosed by planes. It is important to perceive this duality, especially when reading orthographic plans, elevations, and sections. Doric Temple at Segesta, Sicily, c. Piazza Maggiore, Sabbioneta, Italy. A series of buildings enclose an urban square. The interior rooms surround a cortile— the principal courtyard of an Italian palazzo.
The sanctuary is a volume of space carved out of the mass of solid rock. The quality of the architecture will be determined by the skill of the designer in using and relating these elements, both in the interior spaces and in the spaces around buildings.
It may refer to an external appearance that can be recognized, as that of a chair or the human body that sits in it. It may also allude to a particular condition in which something acts or manifests itself, as when we speak of water in the form of ice or steam.
In art and design, we often use the term to denote the formal structure of a work—the manner of arranging and coordinating the elements and parts of a composition so as to produce a coherent image. In the context of this study, form suggests reference to both internal structure and external outline and the principle that gives unity to the whole. While form often includes a sense of three-dimensional mass or volume, shape refers more specifically to the essential aspect of form that governs its appearance—the configuration or relative disposition of the lines or contours that delimit a figure or form.
Shape The characteristic outline or surface configuration of a particular form. Shape is the principal aspect by which we identify and categorize forms. In addition to shape, forms have visual properties of: While these dimensions determine the proportions of a form, its scale is determined by its size relative to other forms in its context.
Color is the attribute that most clearly distinguishes a form from its environment. It also affects the visual weight of a form. Texture The visual and especially tactile quality given to a surface by the size, shape, arrangement, and proportions of the parts. Texture also determines the degree to which the surfaces of a form reflect or absorb incident light.
Position The location of a form relative to its environment or the visual field within which it is seen. Orientation The direction of a form relative to the ground plane, the compass points, other forms, or to the person viewing the form. Visual Inertia The degree of concentration and stability of a form. The visual inertia of a form depends on its geometry as well as its orientation relative to the ground plane, the pull of gravity, and our line of sight.
All of these properties of form are in reality affected by the conditions under which we view them. Our distance from a form determines its apparent size. The lighting conditions under which we view a form affects the clarity of its shape and structure.
The visual field surrounding a form influences our ability to read and identify it. It is the primary means by which we recognize, identify, and categorize particular figures and forms. Our perception of shape depends on the degree of visual contrast that exists along the contour separating a figure from its ground or between a form and its field. Bust of Queen Nefertiti The pattern of eye movement of a person viewing the figure, from research by Alfred L.
In architecture, we are concerned with the shapes of: This architectural composition illustrates the interplay between the shapes of planar solids and voids.
Given any composition of forms, we tend to reduce the subject matter in our visual field to the simplest and most regular shapes. The simpler and more regular a shape is, the easier it is to perceive and understand. From geometry we know the regular shapes to be the circle, and the infinite series of regular polygons that can be inscribed within it. Of these, the most significant are the primary shapes: Placing a circle in the center of a field reinforces its inherent centrality.
Associating it with straight or angular forms or placing an element along its circumference, however, can induce in the circle an apparent rotary motion.
When resting on one of its sides, the triangle is an extremely stable figure. When tipped to stand on one of its vertices, however, it can either be balanced in a precarious state of equilibrium or be unstable and tend to fall over onto one of its sides. It is a bilaterally symmetrical figure having two equal and perpendicular axes.
All other rectangles can be considered variations of the square — deviations from the norm by the addition of height or width. Like the triangle, the square is stable when resting on one of its sides and dynamic when standing on one of its corners. When its diagonals are vertical and horizontal, however, the square exists in a balanced state of equilibrium. Surface first refers to any figure having only two dimensions, such as a flat plane. The term, however, can also allude to a curved two-dimensional locus of points defining the boundary of a three-dimensional solid.
There is a special class of the latter that can be generated from the geometric family of curves and straight lines. This class of curved surfaces include the following: Depending on the curve, a cylindrical surface may be circular, elliptic, or parabolic. Because of its straight line geometry, a cylindrical surface can be regarded as being either a translational or a ruled surface.
Because of its straight line geometry, a ruled surface is generally easier to form and construct than a rotational or translational surface. Parabolas are plane curves generated by a moving point that remains equidistant from a fixed line and a fixed point not on the line. Hyperbolas are plane curves formed by the intersection of a right circular cone with a plane that cuts both halves of the cone.
It can thus be considered to be both a translational and a ruled surface. Regions of downward curvature exhibit archlike action while regions of upward curvature behave as a cable structure. If the edges of a saddle surface are not supported, beam behavior may also be present.
The geometric basis for these curved surfaces can be effectively utilized in digital modeling as well as in the description, fabrication and assembly of curvilinear architectural elements and components. The fluid quality of curved surfaces contrasts with the angular nature of rectilinear forms and are appropriate for describing the form of shell structures as well as nonloadbearing elements of enclosure.
Symmetrical curved surfaces, such as domes and barrel vaults, are inherently stable. Asymetrical curved surfaces, on the other hand, can be more vigorous and expressive in nature. Their shapes change dramatically as we view them from different perspectives. It is for this reason that these are beautiful forms, the most beautiful forms.
Circles generate spheres and cylinders; triangles generate cones and pyramids; squares generate cubes. In this context, the term solid does not refer to firmness of substance but rather to a three-dimensional geometric body or figure. Sphere A solid generated by the revolution of a semicircle about its diameter, whose surface is at all points equidistant from the center.
A sphere is a centralized and highly concentrated form. Like the circle from which it is generated, it is self-centering and normally stable in its environment. It can be inclined toward a rotary motion when placed on a sloping plane.
From any viewpoint, it retains its circular shape. Cylinder A solid generated by the revolution of a rectangle about one of its sides. A cylinder is centralized about the axis passing through the centers of its two circular faces. Along this axis, it can be easily extended. The cylinder is stable if it rests on one of its circular faces; it becomes unstable when its central axis is inclined from the vertical. Like the cylinder, the cone is a highly stable form when resting on its circular base, and unstable when its vertical axis is tipped or overturned.
It can also rest on its apex in a precarious state of balance. Pyramid A polyhedron having a polygonal base and triangular faces meeting at a common point or vertex. The pyramid has properties similar to those of the cone. Because all of its surfaces are flat planes, however, the pyramid can rest in a stable manner on any of its faces.
While the cone is a soft form, the pyramid is relatively hard and angular. Cube A prismatic solid bounded by six equal square sides, the angle between any two adjacent faces being a right angle. Because of the equality of its dimensions, the cube is a static form that lacks apparent movement or direction.
It is a stable form except when it stands on one of its edges or corners. Even though its angular profile is affected by our point of view, the cube remains a highly recognizable form. They are generally stable in nature and symmetrical about one or more axes. The sphere, cylinder, cone, cube, and pyramid are prime examples of regular forms. Forms can retain their regularity even when transformed dimensionally or by the addition or subtraction of elements.
From our experiences with similar forms, we can construct a mental model of the original whole even when a fragment is missing or another part is added.
Irregular forms are those whose parts are dissimilar in nature and related to one another in an inconsistent manner. They are generally asymmetrical and more dynamic than regular forms. They can be regular forms from which irregular elements have been subtracted or result from an irregular composition of regular forms. Since we deal with both solid masses and spatial voids in architecture, regular forms can be contained within irregular forms.
In a similar manner, irregular forms can be enclosed by regular forms. Dimensional Transformation A form can be transformed by altering one or more of its dimensions and still retain its identity as a member of a family of forms.
A cube, for example, can be transformed into similar prismatic forms through discrete changes in height, width, or length. It can be compressed into a planar form or be stretched out into a linear one.
Subtractive Transformation A form can be transformed by subtracting a portion of its volume. Depending on the extent of the subtractive process, the form can retain its initial identity or be transformed into a form of another family. For example, a cube can retain its identity as a cube even though a portion of it is removed, or be transformed into a series of regular polyhedrons that begin to approximate a sphere. Additive Transformation A form can be transformed by the addition of elements to its volume.
The nature of the additive process and the number and relative sizes of the elements being attached determine whether the identity of the initial form is altered or retained. A pyramid can be transformed by altering the dimensions of the base, modifying the height of the apex, or tilting the normally vertical axis.
A cube can be transformed into similar prismatic forms by shortening or elongating its height, width, or depth. Carlo, Project, 17th century, Francesco Borromini St. If any of the primary solids is partially hidden from our view, we tend to complete its form and visualize it as if it were whole because the mind fills in what the eyes do not see.
In a similar manner, when regular forms have fragments missing from their volumes, they retain their formal identities if we perceive them as incomplete wholes.
We refer to these mutilated forms as subtractive forms. Because they are easily recognizable, simple geometric forms, such as the primary solids, adapt readily to subtractive treatment. These forms will retain their formal identities if portions of their volumes are removed without deteriorating their edges, corners, and overall profile. Ambiguity regarding the original identity of a form will result if the portion removed from its volume erodes its edges and drastically alters its profile. In the series of figures below, at what point does the square shape with a corner portion removed become an L- shaped configuration of two rectangular planes?
Khasneh al Faroun, Petra, 1st century A. The basic possibilities for grouping two or more forms are by: Spatial Tension This type of relationship relies on the close proximity of the forms or their sharing of a common visual trait, such as shape, color, or material.
Edge-to-edge Contact In this type of relationship, the forms share a common edge and can pivot about that edge.
Face-to-face Contact This type of relationship requires that the two forms have corresponding planar surfaces which are parallel to each other. The forms need not share any visual traits. For us to perceive additive groupings as unified compositions of form—as figures in our visual field—the combining elements must be related to one another in a coherent manner.
Centralized Form A number of secondary forms clustered about a dominant, central parent-form These diagrams categorize additive forms according to the nature of the relationships that exist among the component forms as well as their overall configurations.
This outline of formal organizations should be compared with a parallel discussion of spatial organizations in Chapter 4. Linear Form A series of forms arranged sequentially in a row Radial Form A composition of linear forms extending outward from a central form in a radial manner Clustered Form A collection of forms grouped together by proximity or the sharing of a common visual trait Lingaraja Temple, Bhubaneshwar, India, c. Pietro in Montorio, Rome, , Donato Bramante Centralized forms require the visual dominance of a geometrically regular, centrally located form, such as a sphere, cone, or cylinder.