1st Edition

The Architecture of the Facade

By Randall Korman Copyright 2023
    350 Pages 353 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    350 Pages 353 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Architecture of the Facade provides a comprehensive study of the facade as both a physical and cultural artifact, highlighting its significance as a critical component of the civic realm and arguing for the restoration of the art of the facade as both a subject of study within academia and an aspiration within the profession at large.

    As the principal surface of mediation, contextualization, and representation, the facade carries the lion’s share of responsibility for containing the internal environment and confronting the outer world. And yet, in recent decades, the very question of what exactly a facade is has been raised by the dramatic changes in building technology, advances of parametric design, and the ubiquity of autonomous buildings. The Architecture of the Facade addresses these and other related issues.

    The book is organized into 12 chapters, with each chapter focusing on a particular aspect of the phenomenon of the facade such as those of wall, the frame, transparency, and the role of the facade in civic space. Korman also discusses proportional systems, the language of composition, the role of precedent, the importance of context, and much more. Over 350 photos and diagrams provide readers with a variety of examples of artful facades throughout history. Online teaching resources that accompany this book include a course syllabus, a glossary, and a Pinterest tack board of facades.

    This book will be of great interest to students in architecture studios as well as instructors and professional architects interested in facade design.

    1. A History of the Facade in Twelve Buildings  2. Notes Towards a Difficult Definition  3. Phenomenology and the Facade  4. The Phenomenon of the Wall   5. The Phenomenon of the Frame  6. The Outside, the Inside and the In-between  7. The Repetitive Bay  8. Representation, Abstraction, and Meaning  9. Transparency, Translucency and Opacity  10. Proportion and the Search for a Cosmic Connection  11. Precedent and Invention  12. The City and the Facade


    Randall Korman is an architect and emeritus professor at Syracuse University. Korman joined the faculty at Syracuse University in 1977 and retired in 2018. He has also been a visiting faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Texas, and Kanto Gakuin University in Yokohama, Japan. In the spring of 2009, he was invited to be the Batza Distinguished Visiting Professor at Colgate University. His research interests have focused principally on the phenomenon of the architectural facade. He has lectured widely on the subject, most recently in Spain, Norway, and China.