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Fallingwater: the interplay between space and shape


  • John Peponis
  • Tahar Bellal


From the point of view of a situated observer, the physical shape of buildings creates spatial relationships only some of which are present in perception while others are inherent in abstract descriptions of the objective structure of environment retrieved in the mind. In this paper the contributions of syntactic analysis to the study of the spatial structures involved in perception and cognition are illustrated through a study of Fallingwater at Bear Run, Laurel Highlands, PA. Fallingwater is chosen for its open layout, engendering quasi-synchronic visual fields bound by intricate wall shapes. Thus, it lends itself to a discussion of how spatial structures available to perception arise according to the arrangement of built shape and how they give rise to incrementally more abstract cognitive structures.

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  • John Peponis & Tahar Bellal, 2010. "Fallingwater: the interplay between space and shape," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 37(6), pages 982-1001, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envirb:v:37:y:2010:i:6:p:982-1001

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