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Intelligibility and cellularity in the villas of Palladio and Le Corbusier: examining Rowe's observations

Intelligibility and cellularity in the villas of Palladio and Le Corbusier: examining Rowe's... In the 1947 article, The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa, Colin Rowe famously compared the spatial and geometric properties of buildings by two architects: Palladio and Le Corbusier. Many of Rowe's observations in this article have since been extensively debated but not rigorously tested. This paper examines Rowe's proposition that Palladio's villa plans possess greater intelligibility and cellularity than Le Corbusier's villa plans.Design/methodology/approachTwo established computational techniques, axial line analysis and isovist analysis, are adopted in this paper to quantify and compare the properties of intelligibility and cellularity in the four villas that Rowe used to construct his argument: Malcontenta, Rotunda, Stein, and Savoye.FindingsWhile acknowledging methodological limitations, the results of this paper do not support Rowe's claims, but they do lead to a unique quantitative examination of spatial configurations and properties of four famous villa plans.Originality/valueThis is the first paper to quantitatively examine Rowe's claims that Palladian villas possess greater intelligibility and cellularity than Le Corbusier's villas. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research Emerald Publishing

Intelligibility and cellularity in the villas of Palladio and Le Corbusier: examining Rowe's observations

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References (5)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2631-6862
eISSN
1938-7806
DOI
10.1108/arch-02-2022-0034
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In the 1947 article, The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa, Colin Rowe famously compared the spatial and geometric properties of buildings by two architects: Palladio and Le Corbusier. Many of Rowe's observations in this article have since been extensively debated but not rigorously tested. This paper examines Rowe's proposition that Palladio's villa plans possess greater intelligibility and cellularity than Le Corbusier's villa plans.Design/methodology/approachTwo established computational techniques, axial line analysis and isovist analysis, are adopted in this paper to quantify and compare the properties of intelligibility and cellularity in the four villas that Rowe used to construct his argument: Malcontenta, Rotunda, Stein, and Savoye.FindingsWhile acknowledging methodological limitations, the results of this paper do not support Rowe's claims, but they do lead to a unique quantitative examination of spatial configurations and properties of four famous villa plans.Originality/valueThis is the first paper to quantitatively examine Rowe's claims that Palladian villas possess greater intelligibility and cellularity than Le Corbusier's villas.

Journal

Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural ResearchEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 6, 2023

Keywords: Andrea Palladio; Le Corbusier; Colin Rowe; Axial line; Isovist; Space syntax

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