Behind Architectural Filters : Phenomena of Interference book cover
1st Edition

Behind Architectural Filters
Phenomena of Interference

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after April 22, 2022
ISBN 9781032077499
April 22, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
288 Pages 220 B/W Illustrations

USD $44.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Behind Architectural Filters: Phenomena of Interference explores the active role of architectural filters in generating physically and sensory charged spatial experiences. The book addresses how the material and the psychological strategies of permeable physical boundaries determine our perceptual experiences of the spaces we occupy.  

This book explores architectural filters as connecting mechanisms capable of conjuring unique atmospheres that integrate the participation of several agents. The text analyzes ten case studies, grouped under five generative parameters: origin, density, thickness, function, and message. Each study investigates the main aspects of the filters’ internal genesis and the character of the spaces informed by them. The cases illustrate a broad geographic, cultural, and historical scope, and connect past tradition with contemporary design. This methodology considers a historical and philosophical standpoint addressing vernacular, constructive, sustainable, and sensory considerations. 

Written for students and scholars of architectural history, theory, art, design, and philosophy, Behind Architectural Filters: Phenomena of Interference offers an unprecedented perspective on the production of spatial atmospheres, bridging past and present while connecting thought and practice in a highly visual study. 

Table of Contents


Foreword. Harmonic Interference

David Leatherbarrow

  1. Introduction. Materializing Light and Gaze
  2. The Filter as a Limit of Space
  3. Approaching the Idea of the Limit

    Transforming Matter

    Contour Conditions

    On the Geometry of Filters

    From Tradition to Virtuality: Historiographic Categories

    The Dissipated Space Behind the Filter

  4. The Filter as a Transitional Space
  5. A Place of Lights and Shadows

    The Vision of the Horizon

    Exterior and Interior Landscapes

    The Transitional Space: Ma and Engawa

  6. The Filter as Structure and Construction
  7. Natural Structure and Artificial Structure

    The Structure of the Filter: Operations of Subtraction and Addition

    The Stereotomic Filter: Predominance of Matter Over Air

    The Tectonic Filter: Predominance of Air Over Matter

    From the Perforated Box to the Disaggregated Framework

  8. Generative Strategies
    1. Strategies of Origin. Earth Filters and Air Filters
    2. Earth Filters

      Royal Bath. Comares Palace. The Alhambra. Granada, Spain. Fourteenth Century

      Air Filters

      Recoletos Court. Madrid, Spain. Eduardo Torroja; Secundino Zuazo. 1935

    3. Strategies of Density. Heavy Filters and Light Filters
    4. Heavy Filters

      Melnikov House. Moscow, Russia. Konstantin S. Melnikov. 1927

      Light Filters

      Shuster Hall. Hunter College. Bronx, New York, US. Marcel Breuer; Robert F. Gatje. 1959


    5. Strategies of Thickness. Shallow Filters and Deep Filters
    6. Shallow Filters

      Sarkhej Roza. Ahmedabad, India. Fifteenth Century

      Deep Filters

      Tower of Shadows. Chandigarh, India. Le Corbusier. 1956

    7. Strategies of Function. Structural Filters and Enclosing Filters
    8. Structural Filters

      Public Library. Seattle, WA. Rem Koolhaas; Joshua Prince-Ramus. 2004

      Enclosing Filters

      Dominus Winery. Napa Valley, CA. Herzog & De Meuron. 1998

    9. Strategies of Attention. Ground Filters and Figure Filters

Ground Filters

Heilige Familie Church. Oberhausen, Germany. Rudolf Schwarz. 1956

Figure Filters

Nôtre Dame du Haut. Ronchamp, France. Le Corbusier. 1955

6. Conclusions: Behind Architectural Filters





View More



Miguel Guitart is an architect, author, and academic. Guitart is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture at the University at Buffalo-SUNY. His research focuses on the spatial intersection of matter and perception, and the experiential thresholds between physical boundaries, memory, and tactility. Guitart obtained his PhD in Architecture from ETSAM, Polytechnic University of Madrid, and his Master’s degree from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University as a J.W. Fulbright Scholar. Guitart has been awarded by ACSA and NYSCA, among others.