IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A review of the presence and use of fractal geometry in architectural design


  • Yannick Joye


Although references to fractals in architecture are made frequently, to date a systematic, encompassing, scholarly treatment of the use and presence of this geometrical language in architecture is missing. Often such references are made only cursorily and give a limited view on the possible cross-fertilizations between fractal geometry and architecture. In this paper an attempt is made to remedy this, aiming to present a systematic review of the use and presence of fractal geometry in architecture. The paper starts off with a short introductory section. In section 2 some of the theoretical basics about fractal geometry are reviewed. On the basis of this, possible interpretations of the concept ‘fractal architecture’ and the problems associated with them are made explicit and discussed. In section 3 a review of the different ways in which fractal geometry has been related to architecture is presented. Section 4 touches upon quantitative methods to analyze the fractal aspects of architecture. The fifth section is a discussion of a number of methods and heuristics based on fractal geometry to create architectural work. In the final section, possible explanations for the (apparent) perennial interest in fractal form in architecture are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Yannick Joye, 2011. "A review of the presence and use of fractal geometry in architectural design," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 38(5), pages 814-828, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envirb:v:38:y:2011:i:5:p:814-828

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: abstract
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    File URL:
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alm, James & Winters, John V., 2009. "Distance and intrastate college student migration," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 728-738, December.
    2. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2003. "The Economics of School Choice," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number hox03-1, January.
    3. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Miren Lafourcade, 2005. "Transport costs: measures, determinants, and regional policy implications for France," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(3), pages 319-349, June.
    4. Hastings, Justine S. & Kane, Thomas J. & Staiger, Douglas O., 2005. "Parental Preferences and School Competition: Evidence from a Public School Choice Program," Working Papers 10, Yale University, Department of Economics.
    5. Hoxby, Caroline M. (ed.), 2003. "The Economics of School Choice," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226355337.
    6. Clark, William A. V. & Huang, Youqin & Withers, Suzanne, 2003. "Does commuting distance matter?: Commuting tolerance and residential change," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 199-221, March.
    7. Stair, Anthony & Rephann, Terance J. & Heberling, Matt, 2006. "Demand for public education: Evidence from a rural school district," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 521-531, October.
    8. Cahuzac, E. & Tahar, G., 2000. "Offre scolaire et arbitrage formation-distance: le cas des BEP en Midi-Pyrenees," Papers 311, LIRHE - Universite des sciences sociales Toulouse.
    9. Bonneu, Florent & Thomas-Agnan, Christine, 2009. "Spatial point process models for location-allocation problems," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 3070-3081, June.
    10. Philippe Lemistre & Marie-Benoit Magrini, 2011. "Job Qualification, Distance between Towns and Geographical Relocation for French Youth," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 48(10), pages 2141-2161, August.
    11. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 2003. "Introduction to "The Economics of School Choice"," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of School Choice, pages 1-22 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Mohamed Hilal, 2007. "Temps d'accès aux équipements au sein des bassins de vie des bourgs et petites villes," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 402(1), pages 41-56.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pio:envirb:v:38:y:2011:i:5:p:814-828. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Neil Hammond). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.