Mathematics and the Built Environment

The Mathematics of the Modernist Villa

Architectural Analysis Using Space Syntax and Isovists

Authors: Ostwald, Michael J., Dawes, Michael

  • Presents a unique mathematical insight into 37 canonical Modernist buildings of the twentieth century
  • Features over 50 detailed 3D illustrations and more than 250 figures
  • Offers a comprehensive explanation and demonstration of four major techniques for the mathematical and computational analysis of architecture
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eBook $84.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-71647-3
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.00
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-71645-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book presents the first detailed mathematical analysis of the social, cognitive and experiential properties of Modernist domestic architecture.

The Modern Movement in architecture, which came to prominence during the first half of the twentieth century, may have been famous for its functional forms and machine-made aesthetic, but it also sought to challenge the way people inhabit, understand and experience space. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s buildings were not only minimalist and transparent, they were designed to subvert traditional social hierarchies. Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic Modernism not only attempted to negotiate a more responsive relationship between nature and architecture, but also shape the way people experience space. Richard Neutra’s Californian Modernism is traditionally celebrated for its sleek, geometric forms, but his intention was to use design to support a heightened understanding of context. Glenn Murcutt’s pristine pavilions, seemingly the epitome of regional Modernism, actually raise important questions about the socio-spatial structure of architecture.

Rather than focussing on form or style in Modernism, this book examines the spatial, social and experiential properties of thirty-seven designs by Wright, Mies, Neutra and Murcutt. The computational and mathematical methods used for this purpose are drawn from space syntax, isovist geometry and graph theory. The specific issues that are examined include: the sensory and emotional appeal of space and form; shifting social and spatial structures in architectural planning; wayfinding and visual understanding; and the relationship between form and program.

About the authors

Michael J. Ostwald is Professor and Dean of Architecture at the University of Newcastle (Australia). He has previously been a Professorial Research Fellow at Victoria University Wellington (New Zealand), a visiting Professor and Research Fellow at RMIT University, an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow at Newcastle and a visiting fellow at ANU, MIT, HKU and UCLA. Michael has a PhD in architectural history and theory and a DSc in design mathematics and computing. Under the auspices of the Byera Hadley international fellowship he completed postdoctoral research on geometry at the CCA (Montreal) and Harvard (Cambridge, USA). In 2016, the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) awarded him the Neville Quarry Medal for Services to Architecture. Michael is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Nexus Network Journal: Architecture and Mathematics (Springer) and on the editorial boards of ARQ (Cambridge) and Architectural Theory Review (Taylor and Francis). He is co-editor with Kim Williams of the two volume Architecture and Mathematics from Antiquity to the Future (Birkhäuser 2015) and co-author with Josephine Vaughan of The Fractal Dimension of Architecture (Birkhäuser 2016).

Michael J. Dawes has Bachelor degrees in Science (Architecture) and Construction Management and a Masters degree in Architecture. He is currently completing a PhD investigating Christopher Alexander’s A Pattern Language. Since 2010 he has worked as a Research Associate and Academic at the University of Newcastle (Australia). His publications include refereed journal papers and chapters on graph theory, syntactical analysis and isovists. His research combines computational and mathematical analysis with architectural history and theory.

Table of contents (11 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Ostwald, Michael J. (et al.)

    Pages 1-19

  • Space Syntax, Theory and Techniques

    Ostwald, Michael J. (et al.)

    Pages 23-51

  • Spaces, Lines and Intersections

    Ostwald, Michael J. (et al.)

    Pages 53-93

  • Isovist Analysis, Theories and Methods

    Ostwald, Michael J. (et al.)

    Pages 95-124

  • Mies van der Rohe: Characteristics of the Free Plan

    Ostwald, Michael J. (et al.)

    Pages 127-177

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-71647-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.00
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-71645-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Mathematics of the Modernist Villa
Book Subtitle
Architectural Analysis Using Space Syntax and Isovists
Authors
Series Title
Mathematics and the Built Environment
Series Volume
3
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Birkhäuser Basel
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-71647-3
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-71647-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-71645-9
Series ISSN
2512-157X
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVII, 420
Number of Illustrations and Tables
289 b/w illustrations
Topics