Practical Poetics in Architecture

Leon van Schaik


AD Primer, Wiley, 2015


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Integrate poetics into real-world spaces by bringing theory downto earth

Practical Poetics in Architecture takes poetics out ofthe theory class and into the design studio, showing architects howthe atmospheric and experiential qualities of built structures canbe intentionally considered and planned. With an emphasis onanalysing and explaining the sensibility of poetics at work indesigning and constructing architecture, this book featuresprojects from architects around the world that demonstrate theprinciples of poetics come to life. The rich illustration of twohundred colour images, including analytical diagrams, plans,sections, and photos, make this insightful guide a highly visualforay into a topic that has thus far remained more theoretical thanpractical. The text is matter-of-fact and concrete, yet remainsrichly connected to its forbears and the writings of WilliamLethaby, Gaston Bachelard, and Steen Eiler Rasmussen. Theperspective is contemporary in its examples and its connections tothe evolving science of perception.

An established seminar topic in theory classes around the world,poetics tends to rely heavily on classic philosophic texts —until now. Practical Poetics in Architecture brings theorydown to earth to show architects how to invoke poetics whendesigning real projects.

  • Integrate poetics principles into real-world designs
  • Consider atmosphere in terms of form, space, and acoustics
  • Study actual projects that bring poetics into real spaces
  • Take cues from analytical diagrams of projects accounting forcontext

Poetics — the accumulated experience of place, space, andculture — has become more critical in recent years as theatmospheric and experiential qualities of built spaces have becomemore elusive in the virtual age. Practical Poetics inArchitecture provides real guidance for real projects, andbrings poetics out of the mind and onto the plans.