Skip to content

You are here: Home / MBArch / Comparative Architecture

Comparative Architecture



Magda Mària                     Sílvia Musquera




Tuesday 14:30-17:30


To compare buildings equals to study them and to analyze them. We can do an analysis sticking exclusively to the studied object, but we can also do it opposing an other buildign to it and allowing that the characteristics of one of them shows in the other. Like this come out relations that put in evidence aspects of both that wouldn't have arisen otherways. It is as if to study a building we did it from the perspective of another one, showing like that a new point of view.

The choice of the examples to compare is essential, as it makes very different speeches possible acording to which one is the chosen "opponent". A known case of comparation between apparently unconnected buildings is the one of Villa Foscari (La Malcontenta) by Adrea Paladio and the Stein-de-Mozie Villa by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, a comparation developed by Colin Rowe in "The mathematics of the ideal villa" and which reading is mandatory for this subject. In the same way an exemplar book on this way to proceed is Complexity and Contradiction in architecture by Robert Venturi.

The buildings studied with this method don't have to be from the same time, nor from the same author, nor be dedicated to the same use. Sometimes the comparation begings to unchain by some common factor, no matter how simple it is; other times this same factor is hidden and it must become visible.

In this subject it is useful to think that we are also comparing when we design a building. In the process of making a design we usually use the comparation to make arguments about its dimensions, program, composition, form or relation with the environment. By comparing we are looking for  certainties or we highlight doubts. The architectural baggage that we have is channeled through those comparisons and this subject aims to develope a own methodology and knowledge that can be usefull when developing the architectural design.