June 2017


«Architecton: proceedings of higher education» № 43 September 2013

Theory of architecture

Melodinsky Dmitry L.

DSc. (Art Studies), Professor,
Chair of Foundations of Architectural Design,
Moscow Architectural Institute,
Moscow, Russia, e-mail: melodinsky@yandex.ru


In the current context of fascination for modernism, Nikos Salingaros, a seminal US architect and mathematician presents a rather unusual phenomenon. He sticks to the opposite, classical school not only in his design activities but also aspires to develop its theoretical foundations. His novel approach to magnitude of architectural scale is interesting. Its essence comes to light in relation to the contributions of his predecessors –theorists who determined the current status of the issue of architectural scale. N.Salingaros is developing an understanding of the scale of a composition and hierarchy of its elements in relation to the human perception of an architectural form from different positions. Whereas in the past authors would point to the importance of identifying only a few points, he has demonstrated the validity of continuity of such visual switch-overs, which have at their basis a certain regulating, connecting tool which he calls it UNIVERSAL SCALING INVARIANCE. The introduction of this concept into scientific research and its theoretical substantiation may be considered as a considerable contribution to the development of the category of scale.

The invariance of an architectural composition, or harmonisation is treated by Salingaros as proportional scaling, which can be described by mathematics as a unity of numerical series, first of all, as the Fibonacci sequence. In this geometrical system, movement from a small form to its consecutive enlargement and, on the contrary, from a large form at its reduction cannot have stochastic elements breaking this process. According to Salingaros, this sequence may have gaps, but in no way can they be accidental, breaking the logic of the sequence.

For an architectural project to carry information, it should possess internal contents and plastic structurality which are to be perceived by a human being. There should be a dialogue between the individual and the architectural project based on a common visual language and semantic codes. Salingaros maintains that it is universal scaling that is the tool supporting this dialogue.

Key words: architectural composition, architectural scale, hierarchy of scales, universal scaling invariant, Nikos Salingaros


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Russian text of this article

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