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The Concise Townscape

The Concise Townscape

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Coupled with enclosure (the hOllowobject) as an artifact of possession, isthe focal point, the vertical symbol ofcongregation. In the fertile streetsand market places of town and villageit is the focal point (be it column orcross) which crystallizes the situation,which confirms 'this is the Spot'.'Stop looking, it is here.' This mag­nificent clarity illuminates many acommunity but in many others thechief function of the focal point hasbeen stripped away l:.y the swirl andhazards of traffic so that it becomesmerely an indifferent piece for theantiquarian's notebook.

Gordon Cullen: Serial Vision in Urban Design Gordon Cullen: Serial Vision in Urban Design

There were some awesomely creative ideas for living more outdoors despite the English climate, domes, personal and otherwise. Doors that slide. Clear roofs and ways to enjoy being outside even in winter, I loved it. And two potential field trips to what he considers town planning that worked -- Well Hall Estate in Eltham built in 1915 and Redgrave Road, Basildon built in 1953. I rather want to visit both. In a town we do not normally have such a dramatic situation to mani­pulate but the principle still holds good. There is, for instance, a typicalemotional reaction to being below the general ground level and there isanother resulting from being above it. There is a reaction to beinghemmed in as in a tunnel and another to the wideness of the square. If,therefore, we design our towns from the point of view of the movingperson (pedestrian or car-borne) it is easy to see how the whole citybecomes a plastic experience, a journey through pressures and vacuums,a sequence of exposures and enclosures, of constraint and relief. Physics-based precision: This enables accurate modelling of sightlines, lighting and weather conditions, vehicle and pedestrian flow, vegetation, and surrounding infrastructure. Getting the balance of enclosure, mystery, concealment, and openness right is difficult – hence why digital simulations that combine all these different factors are so valuable.The term ‘townscape’ dates from a 1949 AR article by Hastings. Over the years that followed, Cullen’s artistic work for the magazine - including the monthly Townscape column and many other articles - provided rich material for the dense assemblage of photos, plans and free-hand illustrations that characterised the book. The collective gathered around Hastings sought to revive the picturesque, an aesthetic mode of regarding the world that was cultivated in the 18th century by an elite with a taste for foreign travel. While often associated with landscape, as Richard Williams points out in his study on the origins of townscape, the picturesque has also long been accepted as a mode of perceiving the city, with its visual power acting as a means of assuaging urban anxieties. Serial vision analysis helps us appreciate how humans experience space, illustrating the way new design proposals are perceived from the human viewpoint, positioning designers and planners to create enjoyable urban spaces that are desired and sought out. The benefits of utilising serial vision include the following: Serial vision theory is deeply rooted in how humans perceive and navigate their surroundings. As we move, we continuously process new information, updating our mental map of the area. Architects, city planners, and urban designers must carefully plan these visual sequences to ensure interesting, engaging, and easy-to-navigate urban spaces. the outdoor room and enclosureIn this section of the casebook weare concerned with the person's senseof position, his unspoken reaction tothe environment which might beexpressed as 'I am in IT or above ITor below IT, I am outside IT, I amenclosed or I am exposed'. These We have witnessed a superficial civic style of decoration using bollardsand cobbles, we have seen traffic-free pedestrian precincts and we havenoted the rise of conservation.

Townscape: cross as focal point - Architectural Review Townscape: cross as focal point - Architectural Review

Between 1944 and 1946 he worked in the planning office of the Development and Welfare Department in Barbados, as his poor eyesight meant that he was unfit to serve in the British armed forces. He later returned to London and joined the Architectural Review journal, first as a draughtsman and then as a writer on planning policies. There he produced a large number of influential editorials and case studies on the theory of planning and the design of towns. Many improvements in the urban and rural environment in Britain during the 1950s and 1960s. He was also involved in the Festival of Britain in 1951. One of the few large scale Cullen works on public display is the mural in the foyer of the Erno Goldfinger designed Greenside Primary School in west London, completed in 1953. [4] His 1958 ceramic mural in Coventry, depicting the history of the city and its post-war regeneration, is on a much grander scale though now relocated away from its original central location. [5] Illustrations [ edit ] Here is an example. Suppose you are visiting one of the hill towns inthe south of France. You climb laboriously up the winding road andeventually find yourself in a tiny village street at the summit. You feelthirsty and go to a nearby restaurant, your drink is served to you on averanda and as you go out to it you find to your exhilaration or horrorthat the veranda is cantilevered out over a thousand-foot drop. By thisdevice of the containment (street) and the revelation (cantilever) thefact of height is dramatized and made real. The book’s title is ‘The Concise Townscape,’ and Gordon Cullen is the author. He was a well-known urban planner and architect from England who played a significant role in the townscape movement. Cullen introduced a novel theory and approach to urban visual analysis and design founded on the psychology of perception, including human perceptions of time and space and the need for visual stimulation. The Concise Townscape is the name given to later versions of Townscape. Through this book, he significantly contributed to the Townscape’s structure. This outlook resulted in the transformation of many cities—the 1950s’ redevelopment of central Boston with its urban freeways, for example, or, in Britain, the construction of vast housing estates around cities such as Birmingham, not to mention the logical, grid- based planning of new towns such as Milton Keynes.Dynamic viewpoints from moving vehicles: Clients want to see design outcomes from 1,000 locations under 100 options – our technology lets you walk, bike, fly or drive through the simulated environment from any angle or direction. This makes our technology useful for a range of purposes, such as testing views from new highways while driving at speed, or signal sighting workshops for railways.

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work for its examples instead of these being culled from the past. Thishas not been done for two reasons. Celebration of notable features or landmarks: By understanding how serial vision works, urban designers can integrate strategic placement of landmarks or focal points, helping with orientation and memorability. here as an accessible place or roomout of the main directional stream,an eddy in which footsteps echo andthe light is lessened in intensity. Setapart from the hurly-burly of traffic,it yet has the advantage of com­manding the scene from a positionof safety and strength.precinctsLeft, in this significant picture, canbe seen the whole urban pattern as itwas and to some extent still is. Insideis the tightly built-up pedestrian townwith its enclosures and no doubt areasof viscosity, its focal points and en­claves. Outside are the expresswaysfor car and lorry, train and shipwhich exist to serve and vitalize theprecincts. This is the traditionalp~ttern at its clearest. The smallphotograph below shows some ofthese elements at their most dis­organized, the chaotic mixture ofhouses and traffic in which bothpedestrians and traffic suffer a dimi­nution of their proper character. Cullen’s ideas about urban design, including serial vision, markedly shaped the course of town planning in the 1960s. Gordon Cullen sketch – diagrammatic analysis of space produced after walking around the town centre for Vivat Ware: Strategies to Enhance an Historic Centre (1974), a report prepared for East Hertfordshire District Council, UK. Image source: Urban Design Quarterly Drawing serial vision: examples Skyline, rhythm, and grain These serial vision sketches depict the journey walking through a city street. The hand-drawn townscape analysis captures the undulating skyline (see the Gordon Cullen quote below), highlighting the repetition and arrangement of forms within and between façades. The positioning of windows, doors, and overhanging balconies establishes a natural rhythm and grain within the streetscape, contributing to a dynamic and engaging visual experience. This is the city as collective enterprise, a collective that becomes greater than the sum of its parts. Like Capra's theories of connection, a city is not just a collection of discrete things like streets and buildings, but rather embodies the art of relationship: how things fit together, the spaces created between them, how people use and live in buildings, but also move between them. Cullen lived in the small village of Wraysbury (Berkshire) from 1958 until his death, aged 80, on 11 August 1994, following a serious stroke. After his passing, David Gosling and Norman Foster collected various examples of his work and put them together in the book "Visions of Urban Design". Valuing serial vision in architecture and urban design ensures that new proposals are evaluated in context rather than from an isolated perspective. This approach considers the impact of natural and manmade surroundings, topography, local culture, climate, geology, and history and can be a critical part of formal Landscape and Visual Impact Analysis.

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