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ARCHITECTURE FORM SPACE AND ORDER 3RD EDITION PDF

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THIRD EDITION ARCHITECTURE Form, Space, & Order Third Edition This third edition continues to illustrate the ways the fundamental elements and. Architecture - Form, Space and Order 3rd cittadelmonte.info - Ebook download as PDF File ( .pdf) or read book online. Architecture - Form, Space and Order 3rd edition. 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.


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THIRD EDITION CHING Architecture/Reference or more than thirty years, the beautifully illustrated Architecture: Form, Space, and Order has been the classic. ARCHITECTURE Form, Space, & Order Third Edition ARCHITECTURE Form, Form and space are the critical means of architecture that comprise a design. Francis D. K. Ching, Architecture Form, Space And Order 3rd Edition. The BookReader requires JavaScript to be enabled. Please check that your browser.

Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. If you continue browsing the site, you agree to the use of cookies on this website. See our User Agreement and Privacy Policy. See our Privacy Policy and User Agreement for details. Published on Nov 8, The revered architectural reference, updated with contemporary examples and interactive 3D models The Interactive Resource Center is an online learning environment where instructors and students can access the tools they need to make efficient use of their time, while reinforcing and assessing their understanding of key concepts for successful understanding of the course.

However, the arrangement and ordering of forms and spaces also determine how architecture might promote endeavors, elicit responses, and communicate meaning. So while this study focuses on formal and spatial ideas, it is not intended to diminish the importance of the social, political, or economic aspects of architecture.

Form and space are presented not as ends in themselves but as means to solve a problem in response to conditions of function, purpose, and context—that is, architecturally.

The analogy may be made that one must know and understand the alphabet before words can be formed and a vocabulary developed; one must understand the rules of grammar and syntax before sentences can be constructed; one must understand the principles of composition before essays, novels, and the like can be written. Once these elements are understood, one can write poignantly or with force, call for peace or incite to riot, comment on trivia or speak with insight and meaning.

In a similar way, it might be appropriate to be able to recognize the basic elements of form and space and understand how they can be manipulated and organized in the development of a design concept, before addressing the more vital issue of meaning in architecture. All of these constituents can be perceived and experienced.

Some Architectural order is created when the organization of parts makes visible may be readily apparent while others are more obscure to our intellect and their relationships to each other and the structure as a whole. When these senses. Some may convey images and meaning while others serve as singular nature of the whole, then a conceptual order exists—an order that qualifiers or modifiers of these messages.

Villa Savoye, Poissy, east of Paris, —31, Le Corbusier This graphic analysis illustrates the way architecture embodies the harmonious integration of interacting and interrelated parts into a complex and unified whole. 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.

Point A point extended becomes a Line with properties of: 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: Piazza del Campidoglio, Rome, c. The equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius marks the center of this urban space.

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.

Place de la Concorde, Paris. The obelisk, which upright megalith, usually standing alone This cylindrical shaft commemorates marked the entrance to the Amon temple at Luxor, but sometimes aligned with others. 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: Salginatobel Bridge, Switzerland, —30, Robert Maillart.

The sculptured female figures stand as columnar supports for the Beams and girders have the bending strength to span the space entablature. 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 Stoa of Attalus fronting the Agora in Athens uniform but elegant face to the Piazza del Signori.

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 three- dimensional 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.

Architecture - Form, Space and Order 3rd ed..pdf

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.

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.

Architecture: Form, Space, and Order, 3rd Edition

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. Because of their inherent centrality, these forms share the self-centering properties of the point and circle.

They are ideal as freestanding structures isolated within their context, dominating a point in space, or occupying the center of a defined field. They can embody sacred or honorific places, or commemorate significant persons or events.

In the latter case, the series of forms may be either repetitive or dissimilar in nature and organized by a separate and distinct element such as a wall or path. It combines the aspects of centrality and linearity into a single composition. The core is either the symbolic or functional center of the organization. Its central position can be articulated with a visually dominant form, or it can merge with and become subservient to the radiating arms.

The radiating arms, having properties similar to those of linear forms, give a radial form its extroverted nature. They can reach out and relate to or attach themselves to specific features of a site. They can expose their elongated surfaces to desirable conditions of sun, wind, view, or space. Radial forms can grow into a network of centers linked by linear arms. When viewed from ground level, its central core element may not be clearly visible and the radiating pattern of its linear arms may be obscured or distorted through perspective foreshortening.

While it lacks the geometric regularity and introverted nature of centralized forms, a clustered organization is flexible enough to incorporate forms of various shapes, sizes, and orientations into its structure.

Considering their flexibility, clustered organizations of forms may be organized in the following ways: A clustered organization can also consist of forms that are generally equivalent in size, shape, and function. These forms are visually ordered into a coherent, nonhierarchical organization not only by their close proximity to one another, but also by the similarity of their visual properties.

Numerous examples of clustered housing forms can be found in the vernacular architecture of various cultures. Even though each culture produced a unique style in response to differing technical, climatic, and sociocultural factors, these clustered housing organizations usually maintained the individuality of each unit and a moderate degree of diversity within the context of an ordered whole.

Habitat Israel, Jerusalem, , Moshe Safdie Vernacular examples of clustered forms can be readily transformed into modular, geometrically ordered compositions which are related to grid organizations of form. It generates a geometric pattern of regularly spaced points at the intersections of the grid lines and regularly shaped fields defined by the grid lines themselves.

The most common grid is based on the geometry of the square. Because of the equality of its dimensions and its bilateral symmetry, a square grid is essentially nonhierarchical and bidirectional. It can be used to break the scale of a surface down into measurable units and give it an even texture. It can be used to wrap several surfaces of a form and unify them with its repetitive and pervasive geometry.

The square grid, when projected into the third dimension, generates a spatial network of reference points and lines. Within this modular framework, any number of forms and spaces can be visually organized. In these situations, the following forms can evolve: The centrality of a circular form enables it to act as a hub and unify forms of contrasting geometry or orientation about itself.

The interior space of this mosque is oriented exactly with the cardinal points so that the quibla wall faces in the direction of the holy city of Mecca, while its exterior conforms to the existing layout of the fort. A Diagram of Architecture: An articulated form clearly reveals the precise nature of its parts and their relationships to each other and to the whole.

Its surfaces appear as discrete planes with distinct shapes and their overall configuration is legible and easily perceived. In a similar manner, an articulated group of forms accentuates the joints between the constituent parts in order to visually express their individuality. In opposition to the emphasis on joints and joinery, the corners of a form can be rounded and smoothed over to emphasize the continuity of its surfaces. Or a material, color, texture, or pattern can be carried across a corner onto the adjoining surfaces to de-emphasize the individuality of the surface planes and emphasize instead the volume of a form.

A form can be articulated by: While a corner can be articulated by simply contrasting the surface qualities of the adjoining planes, or obscured by layering their joining with an optical pattern, our perception of its existence is also affected by the laws of perspective and the quality of light that illuminates the form.

For a corner to be formally active, there must be more than a slight deviation in the angle between the adjoining planes. Since we constantly search for regularity and continuity within our field of vision, we tend to regularize or smooth out slight irregularities in the forms we see. For example, a wall plane that is bent only slightly will appear to be a single flat plane, perhaps with a surface imperfection.

A corner would not be perceived. At what point do these formal deviations become an acute angle? If the two planes simply touch and the corner remains unadorned, the presence of the corner will depend on the visual treatment of the adjoining surfaces.

This corner condition emphasizes the volume of a form. A corner condition can be visually reinforced by introducing a separate and distinct element that is independent of the surfaces it joins. This element articulates the corner as a linear condition, defines the edges of the adjoining planes, and becomes a positive feature of the form. If an opening is introduced to one side of the corner, one of the planes will appear to bypass the other. The opening diminishes the corner condition, weakens the definition of the volume within the form, and emphasizes the planar qualities of the neighboring surfaces.

If neither plane is extended to define the corner, a volume of space is created to replace the corner. This corner condition deteriorates the volume of the form, allows the interior space to leak outward, and clearly reveals the surfaces as planes in space.

Rounding off the corner emphasizes the continuity of the bounding surfaces of a form, the compactness of its volume, and softness of its contour. The scale of the radius of curvature is important. If too small, it becomes visually insignificant; if too large, it affects the interior space it encloses and the exterior form it describes. The unadorned corners of the forms emphasize the volume of their mass. The timber joinery articulates the individuality of the members meeting at the corner.

The corner member is recessed to be independent of the adjoining wall planes. The corner column emphasizes the edge of the building form. The linear sun-shading devices accentuate the horizontality of the building form. Linear columnar elements emphasize the verticality of this high-rise structure.

Linear patterns have the ability to emphasize the height or length of a form, unify its surfaces, and define its textural quality. A grid pattern unifies the surfaces of the three-dimensional composition. The three-dimensional form of the openings creates a texture of light, shade, and shadows. The pattern of openings and cavities interrupts the continuity of the exterior wall planes.

We turn clay to make a vessel; But it is on the space where there is nothing that the utility of the vessel depends. We pierce doors and windows to make a house; and it is on these spaces where there is nothing that the utility of the house depends.

Therefore, just as we take advantage of what is, we should recognize the utility of what is not. Through the volume of space, we move, see forms, hear sounds, feel breezes, smell the fragrances of a flower garden in bloom. It is a material substance like wood or stone. Yet it is an inherently formless vapor. Its visual form, its dimensions and scale, the quality of its light—all of these qualities depend on our perception of the spatial boundaries defined by elements of form.

As space begins to be captured, enclosed, molded, and organized by the elements of mass, architecture comes into being. To better comprehend the structure of a visual field, we tend to organize its elements into two opposing groups: Two Faces or a Vase? Our perception and understanding of a composition depends on how we interpret the visual interaction between the positive and negative elements within its field. On this page, for example, letters are seen as dark figures against the white background of the paper surface.

Consequently, we are able to perceive their organization into words, sentences, and paragraphs. As it grows in size relative to its field, however, other elements within and around it begin to compete for our attention as figures. At times, the relationship between figures and their background is so ambiguous that we visually switch their identities back and forth almost simultaneously. White-on-Black or Black-on-White? In all cases, however, we should understand that figures, the positive elements that attract our attention, could not exist without a contrasting background.

Figures and their background, therefore, are more than opposing elements. Together, they form an inseparable reality—a unity of opposites—just as the elements of form and space together form the reality of architecture. Shah Jahan built this white marble mausoleum for his favorite wife, Muntaz Mahal. Line defining the boundary between solid mass and spatial void B.

The form of solid mass rendered as a figure C. The form of the spatial void rendered as figure Architectural form occurs at the juncture between mass and space. In executing and reading design drawings, we should be concerned with both the form of the mass containing a volume of space as well as the form of the spatial volume itself.

Fragment of a Map of Rome, drawn by Giambattista Nolli in Depending on what we perceive to be positive elements, the figure-ground relationship of the forms of mass and space can be inverted in different parts of this map of Rome. In portions of the map, buildings appear to be positive forms that define street spaces.

In other parts of the drawing, urban squares, courtyards, and major spaces within important public buildings read as positive elements seen against the background of the surrounding building mass. At each level, we should be concerned not only with the form of a building but also its impact on the space around it. At an urban scale, we should carefully consider whether the role of a building is to continue the existing fabric of a place, form a backdrop for other buildings, or define a positive urban space, or whether it might be appropriate for it to stand free as a significant object in space.

At the scale of a building site, there are various strategies for relating the form of a building to the space around it. A building can: D Building as an object in space Buildings defining space Monastery of St. Meletios on Mt. Kithairon, Greece, 9th century A. H Buildings defining space: Piazza of San Marco, Venice Building as an object in space: The white space in between, however, should not be seen simply as background for the walls, but also as figures in the drawing that have shape and form.

Even at the scale of a room, articles of furnishings can either stand as forms within a field of space or serve to define the form of a spatial field. Each category has an active or passive role in defining space. Some spaces, such as offices, have specific but similar functions and can be grouped into single, linear, or clustered forms.

Some spaces, such as concert halls, have specific functional and technical requirements, and require specific forms that will affect the forms of the spaces around them. Some spaces, such as lobbies, are flexible in nature and can therefore be freely defined by the spaces or grouping of spaces around them. In a similar manner, any three-dimensional form naturally articulates the volume of space surrounding it and generates a field of influence or territory which it claims as its own.

The following section of this chapter looks at horizontal and vertical elements of form and presents examples of how various configurations of these formal elements generate and define specific types of space. This field can be visually reinforced in the following ways. Elevated Base Plane A horizontal plane elevated above the ground plane establishes vertical surfaces along its edges that reinforce the visual separation between its field and the surrounding ground.

Depressed Base Plane A horizontal plane depressed into the ground plane utilizes the vertical surfaces of the lowered area to define a volume of space.

Overhead Plane A horizontal plane located overhead defines a volume of space between itself and the ground plane. The stronger the edge definition of a horizontal plane is, the more distinct will be its field. Although there is a continuous flow of space across it, the field nevertheless generates a spatial zone or realm within its boundaries.

The surface articulation of the ground or floor plane is often used in architecture to define a zone of space within a larger context. The examples on the facing page illustrate how this type of spatial definition can be used to differentiate between a path of movement and places of rest, establish a field from which the form of a building rises out of the ground, or articulate a functional zone within a one-room living environment. The changes in level that occur along the edges of the elevated plane define the boundaries of its field and interrupt the flow of space across its surface.

If the surface characteristics of the base plane continues up and across the elevated plane, then the field of the elevated plane will appear to be very much a part of the surrounding space. If, however, the edge condition is articulated by a change in form, color, or texture, then the field will become a plateau that is separate and distinct from its surroundings.

The edge of the field is well-defined; visual and spatial continuity is maintained; physical access is easily accommodated. Visual continuity is maintained; spatial continuity is interrupted; physical access requires the use of stairs or ramps. Visual and spatial continuity is interrupted; the field of the elevated plane is isolated from the ground or floor plane; the elevated plane is transformed into a sheltering element for the space below.

The elevated ground plane can be a preexisting site condition, or it can be artificially constructed to deliberately raise a building above the surrounding context or enhance its image in the landscape. The examples on these two pages illustrate how these techniques have been used to venerate sacred and honorific buildings. Combined with a roof plane, it develops into the semiprivate realm of a porch or veranda. The Farnsworth House was constructed to rise above the flood plain of the Fox River.

This elevated floor plane, together with an overhead roof plane, defines a volume of space that hovers delicately above the surface of its site. This raised space can serve as a retreat from the activity around it or be a platform for viewing the surrounding space.

Within a religious structure, it can demarcate a sacred, holy, or consecrated place. The vertical surfaces of the depression establish the boundaries of the field. These boundaries are not implied as in the case of an elevated plane, but visible edges that begin to form the walls of the space. The field of space can be further articulated by contrasting the surface treatment of the lowered area and that of the surrounding base plane.

A contrast in form, geometry, or orientation can also visually reinforce the identity and independence of the sunken field from its larger spatial context. Creating a stepped, terraced, or ramped transition from one level to the next helps promote continuity between a sunken space and the area that rises around it.

Rock-cut churches of Lalibela, 13th century Whereas the act of stepping up to an elevated space might express the extroverted nature or significance of the space, the lowering of a space below its surroundings might allude to its introverted nature or to its sheltering and protective qualities.

The natural change in level benefits both the sightlines and the acoustical quality of these spaces. Underground village near Loyang, China The ground plane can be lowered to define sheltered outdoor spaces for underground buildings. A sunken courtyard, while protected from surface-level wind and noise by the mass surrounding it, remains a source of air, light, and views for the underground spaces opening onto it.

He then uses the vertical bounding surfaces of the reading area for additional book storage. A sunken area can also serve as a transitional space between two floors of a building. Since the edges of the overhead plane establish the boundaries of this field, its shape, size, and height above the ground plane determines the formal qualities of the space.

While the previous manipulations of the ground or floor plane defined fields of space whose upper limits were established by their context, an overhead plane has the ability to define a discrete volume of space virtually by itself.

If vertical linear elements such as columns or posts are used to support the overhead plane, they will aid in visually establishing the limits of the defined space without disrupting the flow of space through the field. Similarly, if the edges of the overhead plane are turned downward, or if the base plane beneath it is articulated by a change in level, the boundaries of the defined volume of space will be visually reinforced.

It not only shelters the interior spaces of a building from sun, rain, and snow, but also has a major impact on the overall form of a building and the shaping of its spaces. The form of the roof plane, in turn, is determined by the material, geometry, and proportions of its structural system and the manner in which it transfers its loads across space to its supports.

Convention Hall for Chicago Project , , Mies van der Rohe Glass House, New Canaan, Connecticut, , Philip Johnson The roof plane can be the major space-defining element of a building and visually organize a series of forms and spaces beneath its sheltering canopy. Since it need not resist any weathering forces nor carry any major loads, the ceiling plane can also be detached from the floor or roof plane and become a visually active element in a space.

Bandung Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia, , Henri Maclaine Pont As in the case of the base plane, the ceiling plane can be manipulated to define and articulate zones of space within a room. It can be lowered or elevated to alter the scale of a space, define a path of movement through it, or allow natural light to enter it from above.

The form, color, texture, and pattern of the ceiling plane can be manipulated as well to improve the quality of light or sound within a space or give it a directional quality or orientation. The following section discusses the critical role vertical elements of form play in firmly establishing the visual limits of a spatial field.

Vertical forms have a greater presence in our visual field than horizontal planes and are therefore more instrumental in defining a discrete volume of space and providing a sense of enclosure and privacy for those within it. In addition, they serve to separate one space from another and establish a common boundary between the interior and exterior environments.

Vertical elements of form also play important roles in the construction of architectural forms and spaces. They serve as structural supports for floor and roof planes. They provide shelter and protection from the climatic elements and aid in controlling the flow of air, heat, and sound into and through the interior spaces of a building. Single Vertical Plane A single vertical plane articulates the space on which it fronts. L-shaped Plane An L-shaped configuration of vertical planes generates a field of space from its corner outward along a diagonal axis.

Parallel Planes Two parallel vertical planes define a volume of space between them that is oriented axially toward both open ends of the configuration.

U-shaped Plane A U-shaped configuration of vertical planes defines a volume of space that is oriented primarily toward the open end of the configuration. Four Planes: Closure Four vertical planes establish the boundaries of an introverted space and influence the field of space around the enclosure. Standing upright and alone, a slender linear element is nondirectional except for the path that would lead us to its position in space.

Any number of horizontal axes can be made to pass through it. When located within a defined volume of space, a column will generate a spatial field about itself and interact with the spatial enclosure.

A column attached to a wall buttresses the plane and articulates its surface. At the corner of a space, a column punctuates the meeting of two wall planes. Standing free within a space, a column defines zones of space within the enclosure. When centered in a space, a column will assert itself as the center of the field and define equivalent zones of space between itself and the surrounding wall planes.

When offset, the column will define hierarchical zones of space differentiated by size, form, and location. Linear elements serve this purpose in marking the limits of spaces that require visual and spatial continuity with their surroundings. Two columns establish a transparent spatial membrane by the visual tension between their shafts.

Three or more columns can be arranged to define the corners of a volume of space. This space does not require a larger spatial context for its definition, but relates freely to it. The edges of the volume of space can be visually reinforced by articulating its base plane and establishing its upper limits with beams spanning between the columns or with an overhead plane.

A repetitive series of column elements along its perimeter would further strengthen the definition of the volume. In the example above, the tokobashira, often a tree trunk in natural form, is a symbolic element that marks one edge of the tokonoma in a Japanese tearoom.

Piazza of St.

Tomb of Jahangir, near Lahore In these examples, various forms of minarets mark the corners of a platform and establish a field of space—a three-dimensional framework—for the Mogul mausoleum structures.

Four columns can establish the corners of a discrete volume of space within a larger room or setting. Supporting a canopy, the columns form an aedicule, a diminutive pavilion that serves as a shrine or the symbolic center of a space.

Traditional Roman houses typically were organized about an atrium open to the sky and surrounded by a roof structure supported at the corners by four columns. Vitruvius termed this a tetrastyle atrium. During the Renaissance, Andrea Palladio incorporated the tetrastyle theme in the vestibules and halls of a number of villas and palazzi. The four columns not only supported the vaulted ceiling and the floor above but also adjusted the dimensions of the rooms to Palladian proportions.

In the Sea Ranch condominium units, four posts along with a sunken floor and an overhead plane define an intimate aedicular space within a larger room. Condominium Unit No. Michel, France, —28 A regularly-spaced series of columns or similar vertical elements form a colonnade.

This archetypal element in the vocabulary of architectural design effectively defines an edge of a spatial volume while permitting visual and spatial continuity to exist between the space and its surroundings. A row of columns can also engage a wall and become a pilastrade that supports the wall, articulates its surface, and tempers the scale, rhythm, and proportioning of its bays.

A grid of columns within a large room or hall not only serves to support the floor or roof plane above. The orderly rows of columns also punctuate the spatial volume, mark off modular zones within the spatial field, and establish a measurable rhythm and scale that make the spatial dimensions comprehensible. This type of construction, in particular the use of concrete columns to support floor and roof slabs, afforded new possibilities for the definition and enclosure of spaces within a building.

Interior spaces could be defined with non-load-bearing partitions, and their layout could respond freely to programmatic requirements. Sketches for The Five Points of the New Architecture, , Le Corbusier On the facing page, two contrasting examples of the use of a column grid are illustrated: A column grid establishes a fixed, neutral field of space in which interior spaces are freely formed and distributed. A grid of columns or posts corresponds closely to the layout of the interior spaces; there is a close fit between structure and space.

A round column has no preferred direction except for its vertical axis.

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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. The surface color, texture, and pattern of a plane affect our perception of its visual weight, scale, and proportion.

When related to a defined volume of space, a vertical plane can be the primary face 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, —83, Giacomo da Pietrasanta A single vertical plane can define the principal facade of a building fronting a public space, establish a gateway through which one passes, as well as articulate spatial zones within 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. If a void is introduced to one side of the corner of the configuration, the definition of the field will be weakened. 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. One of the arms of the 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. A building can have an L-shaped configuration to establish a corner of its site, enclose a field of outdoor space to which its interior spaces relate, or shelter a portion of outdoor space from undesirable conditions around it.

L-shaped configurations of planes are stable and selfsupporting 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 or are 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.

JACQUI from South Dakota
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