News & Blog

Join the conversation...

Geometry of Architecture – Lozenge or Pyramid!

Well my weekly blog is a little late due to the final review of the Writer’s Cabin project today presented to three knowledgeable Architects (with a capital ‘A’).  I have discovered that geometry plays a very important part in architecture and my little model caused me no end of puzzles with triangles, Pythagoras and the 3D form. I weirdly enjoyed it!

Tongue Twisters

For those that have a moment, you may like to be intrigued by the little video in this blog from the Science Faculty at the University of Lisbon. There are some real tongue twisters to learn!!

Geometry of Architecture - Julia Preece animated in explanation of how the writers cabin will be illuminated

Geometry of Architecture – Julia Preece animated in explanation of how the writers cabin will be illuminated


Whilst considering the journey of my writer (or writers since they are all different) as they enter my two metre wide cabin in the centre of Falmouth I focus on their experience of materiality, positioning of the essential items they need for their craft, how they avoid noise, stay warm, be comfortable, see the views…. and, most of all, how their workplace is lit with natural and artificial light to inspire creativity.


In my research I became fascinated by the creations for Apple by Foster & Partners. I did wonder if they are charging too much for their phones however!

I remembered my visit to the Louvre in 1989….  (too long ago!)

Study of light entering via pyramid skylights architectural model

Study of light entering via pyramid skylights architectural model


As Le Corbusier who played with the art of Cubism (another architectural geometry) once said:
Architecture is the masterly, correct and magnificent play of masses brought together in light. Our eyes are made to see forms in light; light and shade reveal these forms; cubes, cones, spheres, cylinders or pyramids are the great primary forms which light reveals to advantage; the image of these is distinct and tangible within us without ambiguity. It is for this reason that these are beautiful forms, the most beautiful forms. Everybody is agreed to that, the child, the savage and the metaphysician.

(Vers une architecture [Towards an Architecture] (1923) – exert Wikipedia) 

Have you noticed how architects love to make profound statements? It does make sense that we need to ‘speak’ about these created habitations – however basic – that surround us always.

Initial plans for writers cabin 2 metres wide

Initial plans for writers cabin 2 metres wide

Red face and nervous laughter

It’s really hard to share ideas with my sketches and imperfect models – especially in the public domain let alone to peers in a classroom presentation. This does, however, make you realise that testing, re-designing, discussing and explaining your ideas will make you stop and say ‘Wait a minute! That’s not right…’ and ‘By jove Carruthers, I think I’ve got it!!’

More Geometry, more Architecture

So, before our final hand in before Christmas at the end of this week I am going to redraw a new plan, section and elevation with more focus on that rather interesting lozenge shaped glass stairwell that will be open to the elements though the building. It will bring light to the heart of the cabin. Attached will be my glass staircase and platform for the writer to sit and watch the street below. A little more fighting with geometry to produce a splendid glazed roof and I’m done. A new model, mmm, maybe not as my thumbs are still sore from the small cuts of the scalpel whilst building the last one (what a numpty!)

And, lastly, I may sneak in a fire pit on the terrace anyway… just because it’s all a dream in my head.

Before I go… a passing thought for the week:

For me, design is like choosing what I’m going to wear for the day – only much more complicated and not really the same at all.

– Robynne Raye

(2) Comments

  1. Lorraine Field

    on   said 

    Finally found time to read your blog. I’m learning from you, thank you. Proud of you for ploughing through and showing the youngsters how it’s really done (red face or not, keep going!).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.