FORM SPACE AND ORDER BY FRANCIS CHING PDF

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THIRD EDITION CHING Architecture/Reference or more than thirty years, the Data: Ching, Frank, Architecture--form, space, & order / Francis D.K. Ching. Francis D. K. Ching Architecture Form, Space, and Order Wiley () (1) image: Courtesy of Francis D.K. Ching This book is printed on acid-free ∞ paper. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data: Ching, Frank, Architecture--form, space, & order / Francis D.K. Ching. -- 3rd ed. p. cm. Includes .


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Francis D. K. Ching, Architecture Form, Space And Order 3rd Edition. The BookReader requires JavaScript to be enabled. Please check that your browser. Space and Order 3rd raudone.info - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf) or read book online. Architecture - Form, Space and Order 3rd edition -Francis D.K. Ching-. A superb visual reference to the principles of architecture Now including interactive CD-ROM! For more than thirty years, the beautifully illustrated Architecture.

These seminal ideas transcend their historical context and encourage speculation: How might they be analyzed, perceived, and experienced? How might they be transformed into coherent, useful, and meaningful structures of space and enclosure?

How might they be reapplied to a range of architectural problems? This manner of presentation attempts to promote a more evocative understanding of the architecture one experiences, the architecture one encounters in literature, and the architecture one imagines while designing. Forrest Wilson, whose insights into the communication of design principles helped clarify the organization of the material, and whose support made its publication possible; James Tice, whose knowledge and understanding of architectural history and theory strengthened the development of this study; Norman Crowe, whose diligence and skill in the teaching of architecture encouraged me to pursue this work; Roger Sherwood, whose research into the organizational principles of form fostered the development of the chapter on ordering principles; Daniel Friedman, for his enthusiasm and careful editing of the final copy; Diane Turner and Philip Hamp, for their assistance in researching material for the illustrations; and to the editorial and production staff at Van Nostrand Reinhold, for their exceptional support and service during the making of the first edition.

For the second edition, my appreciation goes to the many students and their teachers who have used this book over the years and offered suggestions for its improvement as a reference and tool for study and teaching. I want to especially thank the following educators for their careful critique of the first edition: Rudolph Barton, Laurence A. Clement, Jr. Steinfeld, Cheryl Wagner, James M. Wehler, and Robert L. In preparing this third edition, I am thankful to Michele Chiuini, Ahmeen Farooq, and Dexter Hulse for their thoughtful reviews of the second edition.

While I have attempted to incorporate much of their wise counsel, I remain solely responsible for any deficiencies remaining in the text. To Debra, Emily, and Andrew, whose love of life it is ultimately the role of architecture to house. These conditions may be purely functional in nature, or they may also reflect in varying degrees the social, political, and economic climate.

In any case, it is assumed that the existing set of conditions—the problem—is less than satisfactory and that a new set of conditions—a solution—would be desirable.

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The act of creating architecture, then, is a problem-solving or design process. The initial phase of any design process is the recognition of a problematic condition and the decision to find a solution to it. Design is above all a willful act, a purposeful endeavor. A designer must first document the existing conditions of a problem, define its context, and collect relevant data to be assimilated and analyzed. This is the critical phase of the design process since the nature of a solution is inexorably related to how a problem is perceived, defined, and articulated.

Piet Hein, the noted Danish poet and scientist, puts it this way: The shaping of the question is part of the answer. This book focuses, therefore, on broadening and enriching a vocabulary of design through the study of its essential elements and principles and the exploration of a wide array of solutions to architectural problems developed over the course of human history. As an art, architecture is more than satisfying the purely functional requirements of a building program.

Fundamentally, the physical manifestations of architecture accommodate human activity. 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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 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. Openings in one or both of the planes can also introduce secondary axes to the field and modulate the directional quality of the space.

Sets of parallel vertical planes can be transformed into a wide variety of configurations. Their spatial fields can be related to one another either through the open ends of their configurations or through openings in the planes themselves.

Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna, Italy, —39 Champ de Mars, Paris The directional quality and flow of the space defined by parallel planes are naturally manifested in spaces used for circulation and movement, such as the streets and boulevards of towns and cities. 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 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 perpendicular to 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 townhouse schemes where each unit is provided with two orientations. At the 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 of the opening is further defined with columns or overhead elements, the definition of the 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 of the spatial field, and the plane opposite the open end will be the principal element among the three planes of the configuration. If the field is entered through the open end of the configuration, the rear plane, or a form placed in front of it, will terminate our view of the space.

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 linear forms. They can also focus on an important or significant element within their fields. When an element is placed along the open end of its field, it gives the field a point of focus as well as a greater sense of closure. The cells form an enclave for a village of community rooms. U-shaped enclosures of interior space have a specific orientation toward their open ends.However, the arrangement and ordering of forms and spaces also determine how architecture might promote endeavors, elicit responses, and communicate meaning.

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.

Form, Space, and Order has been the classic introduction to the basic vocabulary of architectural design. Rahman Alkhaldi , Shura council at Shura council. 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.

ANTONIETTA from Cincinnati
I am fond of reading comics optimistically. Also read my other posts. I'm keen on metalworking.
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