Perceptual analysis of the built environment

November 2006 - G. Buccellati
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Introduction
The urban spaces
Perceptual geography

Introduction

     Considerations about perception offer a powerful tool for an analysis of the built environment. In a way, the very term "environment" evokes a perceptual dimension: it refers to that which surrounds a participant. Hence the point of view of the participant is determinant.
     Perceptual analysis seeks to identify such points of view, in order to look at the contextual space (whether a single house or a large monumental complex) with the perspective that was that of the ancients.
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The urban landscape

     Several examples of perceptual analysis are offered in the methodology section of the website:
– the focalization of access in southern and northern public buildings;
– the interior appearance of the abi and of the service wing of the Palace;
– the need to gain distance in order to appreciate the monumental scale of the Temple staircase;
– the focalization of attention with bread ovens in a room;
– the separation effect of curtain walls in front of the revetment wall of the monumental Temple Terrace;
– the indoor visual impact of different types of door closures in the service wing of the Royal Palace AP.
     In the ongoing analysis of units of the built environment, it will be useful to develop this sensitivity and to seek demonstrable points of view that unify various portions of the urban landscape.
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Perceptual geography

     On a larger scale, the landscape within which the built environment of Urkesh is, still today, inserted, does play an important role for a full appreciation of the ancient architecture. The example of the revetment wall is the most notable example.
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