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Between buildings and streets: a study of the micromorphology of the London terrace and the Manhattan row house 1880-2013

Palaiologou, G; (2015) Between buildings and streets: a study of the micromorphology of the London terrace and the Manhattan row house 1880-2013. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis examines the role of building morphology and street networks in shaping street activity and transformations in the historical built form. The core inquiry applies a configurational analysis to the street, viewing it as a complex entity which interfaces with both buildings and the urban street network. The research is founded on the identification of two theoretical and methodological gaps in the canon of urban design: how generic building morphology properties relate to street liveability; and, how urban diversity emerges as the result of diachronic processes. The thesis looks at architecture beyond function, geometry and aesthetics, focusing on the urban street as a generator for social contact. Building on space syntax theory, it seeks to advance the concept of the ‘virtual community’, proposing that encounter and co-presence patterns are the product of both city-wide connections and local building morphology. In order to study building-street relations in terms of the virtual community the thesis has developed a series of specialised techniques to describe and analyse the synchronic and diachronic aspects of space. The thesis is innovative in integrating space syntax and Conzenian methods to better examine the micromorphology of the street interface configurationally and typologically, capturing the changing nature of built form and building use over time. This methodology is applied to the study of two contrasting urban areas: Islington, London and West Village, Manhattan. Both possess similar building morphologies that have sustained street liveability and diversity over centuries. The results show how urban change and diversity are affected by diachronic processes working with the synchronic structure of the everyday city. The thesis asserts that urban configuration and built form together play an essential role in shaping the character of the ‘virtual community’ as well as the potential for street life itself.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Between buildings and streets: a study of the micromorphology of the London terrace and the Manhattan row house 1880-2013
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Architecture
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1466733
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