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# Primary elements of form

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AR11015 - DESIGN111 - ARCH. NARDO.

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### Primary elements of form

1. 1. PRIMARY ELEMENTS Arch. Ma. Antonia Jennifer E. Nardo, M.Arch.
2. 2. PRIMARY ELEMENTS <ul><li>This lecture will present the primary elements of form in the order of their growth: from the POINT to a one-dimensional LINE, from the LINE to a two-dimensional PLANE, and from the PLANE to a three-dimensional VOLUME </li></ul><ul><li>Each element is first considered as a conceptual element, then as a visual element in the vocabulary of architectural design </li></ul>
3. 3. POINT <ul><li>PRIMARY ELEMENTS </li></ul>
4. 4. POINT <ul><li>Marks a position in space </li></ul><ul><li>Conceptually, it has no length, width or depth </li></ul><ul><li>It is static, centralized and directionless </li></ul><ul><li>As the prime element in the vocabulary of form, it serves to mark: </li></ul>THE TWO ENDS OF A LINE THE INTERSECTION OF TWO LINES THE MEETING OF LINES AT THE CORNER OF A PLANE OR VOLUME THE CENTER OF A FIELD
5. 5. To mark a position in space or on the ground plane, a point must be projected vertically into a linear form POINT POINT IS EXTENDED BECOMES A LINE WITH LENGTH, DIRECTION AND POSITION Obelisk of Thutmose I, Karnak
6. 6. Other point-generated forms that share these same visual attributes are the:
7. 7. CIRCLE Plan of the Tholos at Epidaurus
8. 8. CYLINDER Baptistery at Pisa, Italy
9. 9. SPHERE Cenotaph for Sir Isaac Newton
10. 10. LINE <ul><li>PRIMARY ELEMENTS </li></ul>
11. 11. LINE <ul><li>A point extended </li></ul><ul><li>A line is a critical element in the formation of any visual construction </li></ul><ul><li>It can serve to: </li></ul>JOIN OR LINK OTHER VISUAL ELEMENTS
12. 12. SUPPORT VISUAL ELEMENTS SURROUND OR INTERSECT OTHER VISUAL ELEMENTS
13. 13. DESCRIBE THE EDGES OF AND GIVE SHAPE TO PLANES SQUARE TRIANGLE
14. 14. ARTICULATE THE SURFACES OF PLANES
15. 15. LINE <ul><li>The orientation of a line affects its role in a visual construction </li></ul><ul><li>A vertical line can express a state of equilibrium with the force of gravity, symbolize the human condition, or mark a position in space </li></ul><ul><li>A horizontal line can represent stability, the ground plane, the horizon, or a body at rest </li></ul><ul><li>An oblique line may be seen as a vertical line falling or a horizontal line rising </li></ul>
16. 16. Vertical elements have been used throughout history to commemorate significant events and establish particular points in space Column of Marcus Aurelius
17. 17. Vertical linear elements can also define a transparent volume of space, as in the example above, the four minarets outline a spatial field which the dome of Hagia Sophia rises in splendor Hagia Sophia, Constantinople
18. 18. <ul><li>Linear members that possess the necessary material strength can perform structural functions </li></ul><ul><li>Linear elements express movement across space </li></ul>Salginatobel Bridge, Switzerland
19. 19. <ul><li>Linear members provide support for an overhead plane </li></ul>Caryatid Porch, The Erechtheion, Athens
20. 20. <ul><li>Linear members form a three-dimensional structural frame for architectural space </li></ul>Katsura Palace, Kyoto, Japan
21. 21. <ul><li>A line can be an imagined element rather than a visible one in architecture </li></ul><ul><li>An example is the AXIS, a regulating line established by two distant points in space and about which elements are symmetrically arranged </li></ul>National Mall, Washington D.C.
22. 22. <ul><li>Two parallel lines have the ability to visually describe a plane </li></ul><ul><li>The closer these lines are to each other, the stronger will be the sense of plane they convey </li></ul>Colonnade
23. 23. PLANE <ul><li>PRIMARY ELEMENTS </li></ul>
24. 24. PLANE <ul><li>A line extended in a direction other than its intrinsic direction </li></ul><ul><li>Conceptually has length and width but no depth </li></ul>
25. 25. <ul><li>Planes in architecture define three-dimensional volumes of mass and space </li></ul><ul><li>The properties of each plane – size, shape, color and texture – as well as their spatial relationship to one another determine the visual attributes of the form they define and the qualities of space they enclose </li></ul><ul><li>In architectural design, we manipulate three generic types of planes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Overhead plane </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wall plane </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Base plane </li></ul></ul>
26. 26. OVERHEAD PLANE The overhead plane can be either the roof plane that shelters the interior spaces of a building from the climatic elements, or the ceiling that forms the upper enclosing surface of the room.
27. 27. 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.
28. 28. BASE PLANE The base plane can either be 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.
29. 29. <ul><li>The ground plane ultimately supports all architectural construction </li></ul><ul><li>It can be manipulated to establish a podium for a building form </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul>
30. 30. Acropolis, Athens Elevated to honor a sacred, significant place Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut Terraces approached by ramps rise toward the cliffs where the sanctuary is cut deep into the rock
31. 31. <ul><li>The wall planes isolate a portion of space to create a controlled interior environment </li></ul><ul><li>Their construction provides both privacy and protection from the climatic elements for the interior spaces of a building, while openings within or between their boundaries reestablish a connection with the exterior environment </li></ul>
32. 32. <ul><li>The ceiling plane is usually out of reach and is almost always a purely visual event in a space </li></ul><ul><li>It can be raised or lowered to alter the scale of a space or to define spatial zones within a room </li></ul><ul><li>Its form can be manipulated to control the quality of light or sound within a space </li></ul>
33. 33. <ul><li>The roof plane is the essential sheltering element that protects the interior of a building from climatic elements </li></ul><ul><li>The form and geometry of its structure is established by the manner it spans across space to bear on its supports and slopes to shed rain and melting snow </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul>
34. 34. Falling Water, Frank Lloyd Wright Slabs express the horizontality of the roof planes as they cantilever outward from a central vertical core Schroder House, Gerrit Rietveld The overall form of the building can be endowed with a distinctly planar quality by introducing openings which expose the edges of vertical and horizontal places
35. 35. VOLUME <ul><li>PRIMARY ELEMENTS </li></ul>
36. 36. VOLUME <ul><li>A plane extended in a direction other than its intrinsic direction becomes a volume </li></ul><ul><li>Conceptually, a volume has three dimensions: length, width and depth </li></ul>
37. 37. All volumes can be analyzed and understood to consist of: Points or vertices where several planes come together Lines or edges where two planes meet Planes or surfaces which define the limits or boundaries of a volume
38. 38. <ul><li>Form is the primary identifying characteristic of a volume </li></ul><ul><li>It is established by the shapes and interrelationships of the planes that describe the boundaries of the volume </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul>
39. 39. <ul><li>In architecture, a volume can be seen to be either a portion of space contained and defined by wall, floor, and ceiling or roof planes, or a quantity of space displaced by the mass of a building </li></ul><ul><li>Plan and Section – space defined by wall, floor and ceiling </li></ul><ul><li>Elevation – space displaced by the mass of a building </li></ul>
40. 40. <ul><ul><li>FLOOR PLAN </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>space defined by wall, floor and ceiling </li></ul></ul>
41. 41. <ul><ul><li>ELEVATION </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>space displaced by the mass of a building </li></ul></ul>
42. 42. Building forms that stand as objects in the landscape can be read as occupying volumes in space San Miguel Building, Ortigas
43. 43. Building forms that serve as containers can be read as masses that define volumes of space Piazza Maggiore, Bologna
44. 44. DESIGN EXERCISE 2: <ul><li>Using exactly 100 cotton buds, create a building form using the principles of the primary elements of form </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the cotton tips signify the points, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the handle signify the lines, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the connected buds signify the planes; and, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the creation signifying the volume </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Explain your design concept </li></ul>