Analyzing Space – Centers, Boundaries, Paths and Alignments

By using only plan of any ONE (1) of the of the following case studies, identify and explain the four condition of place – centers, boundaries, paths and alignments.
  • Hadrian’s Villa
  • Monastery Fontana Abbey
  • Roman Forum (after Tarajan’s Forum)
* Use David Summer’s concept (see your second and third tutorial reading) to define centers, boundaries, paths and alignments.  Strictly follow the following structure for your paper. When you write the paper, try to respond to the questions I pose. You do not have to answer all the questions, select the most relevant questions for your case study. 
  • Introduction (200 words) Give the basic contextual information of the building you are discussing and analyzing.
  • Describing the spatial scheme (200 words) By using the plan, give a quick walk through of the building; narrate the distribution of different function in the building, elaborate spatial schemes, describe the location of the main entry in relation to the rest of the building, narrate human movement through corridors, composition of central space, private space, and open space.
  • Center (500 words) What does center mean in architecture? What aspects of center are present in the case study you are analyzing?  Is there a central space? How do you identify it as the center? Shape? Size? Function? Location? How is the center related to peripheral or secondary spaces? Via corridor? Courtyards? How does the center maintain (or destroy) a social hierarchy within the building?  Is the building represent any notional center (such as church, imperial palace), and how is that notional centrality expressed in plan? In many instances, the Center does not always mean the geometrical or physical center of architecture, and a center could be a non-functional element that is located outside the building, eg. the Torana of Itsukushima shrine, which is located in the sea and has no direct physical relation with the main building still serves as the main center of the building.
  • Boundaries (500 words) What does boundary mean in architecture? What aspects of boundary are present in the case study you are analyzing? Does it a have very rigid perimeter? Or a porous precinct? How it co-relates with is surrounding context (urban setting, nature)? Does any abstract sense of metaphorical boundary influenced the material expression of your case study? (eg. Invisible sacred boundary around a Greek temple? The threshold between water and land in Itsukishiam). What are the design strategies that transform a metaphorical boundary into a physical form? Is the geometry of boundary in the interior space rigid? Or flexible? Can you identify where an interior space ends and where the next one starts? Or is it made intentionally ambiguous?
  • Path (500 words) What does path mean in architecture? What aspects of path are present in the case study you are analyzing? How does the spatial articulation influence human movement within the building? Does it display a strong sense of path? Axial movement? Cyclical? Arbitrary? Dose the sense of interior path is comprised of interconnected courtyards? Or through corridors? How does one walk around the building? Is there a specific pattern? Analyze the manner in which the small blocks of the complex are connected (in case of Hadrians’s Villa or Roman Forum) with each other. Can you correlate the path between buildings blocks with the axial geometrical system of the entire complex?
  • Alignments (500 words) What does alignment mean in architecture? What aspects of alignment are present in the case study you are analyzing? Alignment is a combination of boundary and path and indicates the way in which every components and blocks of buildings are connected to each other. Explain the justification of the geometrical alignment of the entire complex or building. For example, why all the forums in the Roman forum are not parallel to each other? Why they were aligned in different directions? Was that for pragmatic purpose? Does it have any relation to its urban setting? Is the building aligned towards a symbolical sacred entity?
  • Conclusion (150 words)Very briefly review the key points of the paper

Length: Maximum 2550 words. Times New Roman 11 point, 1.5 line spacing. All images, drawing should be adequately annotated and relevant to your discussion.

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