On urban architecture

Kömez, Esin
The term “urban architecture” has different meanings and is open to many interpretations. This thesis aims to highlight and further elaborate some definitions of “urban architecture” in which it is mainly characterized as architecture in the urban context. The Second Volume of Harvard Architecture Review on “Urban Architecture” is referred as a main source in discussing the content of the term. The concept of “urban architecture” can be identified in several theoretical contributions to the field of architecture. In this context, the themes “urban artifact” developed by Aldo Rossi and “urbatecture” developed by Bruno Zevi, are discussed in relation to “urban architecture”. In order to further clarify the concept, its relation to the fields of urban design, urbanism, and landscape urbanism is investigated. While it is distinguished from these fields, “urban architecture” is defined as an alternative architectural design approach and not as a new field. As an approach to architectural design that operates in an expanded field including landscape design and urbanism, “urban architecture” points to some strategies that allow to integrate works of architecture into their urban settings. Following this conceptual elaboration, the thesis aims at exploring the design strategies that characterize urban architecture. In this context, strategies related with landscape, infrastructure, and urban field are identified. The strategies based on these themes and their tools of operation are discussed through three case studies that cover Olympic Sculpture Park for the Seattle Art Museum, Kunsthal, and Borneo and Sporenburg.


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Citation Formats
E. Kömez, “On urban architecture,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2009.