Architecture of Transport


“ Of all the dozenss of surveies done of our metropoliss, it is to happen any effort to spot the metropolis as most people see it. ” The Last Landscape, 1962, William H. Whyte complains,

Whyte was concerned about a turning gulf between adept opinion and popular gustatory sensation. The cartographic positions and quantitative analyses of the planning profession had small relevancy for the countless ways in which people really inhabit and regard landscapes, particularly while driving in a auto or equitation in a train.

The innovation of the engine has over the last 2 centuries caused a concatenation reaction ensuing in the metropoliss of today.

As our society becomes progressively dependent upon engineering and going rapidly from topographic point to topographic point, it is rare that we take the clip to acknowledge and grok infinite and topographic point while in gesture.

How do we see architecture while looking through the windscreen of a auto drive along a avenue, seeing the contemplations of public-service corporation poles, street-lights, and edifices on the curving surface, size uping the window forms of skyscrapers as they roll across the glass one after the other? How do we detect a cathedral that seems to dunk and surge through the gestures of a chopper, or notice from a hotfooting train, a series of fume tonss that seem to drift by? How do we see architecture mediated through engineerings of gesture.

Believing in the doctrine of ‘Think planetary, act local ‘ I bring you into my place metropolis Delhi. Delhi, the metropolis of cultural and architectural diverseness, holding seen two epochs of urban development, foremost during the Mughal period ( the metropolis of Shahjahanabad ) and later during the modern epoch by Lutyens, has been late been upgraded through a technological wonder of modern public transit, the Delhi Metro.

Inaugurated in 2002, the Delhi Metro Rail Network, with 139 Stationss spread over a 190 kilometer of rail path ( and quickly increasing ) has within a decennary become the line of life of the metropolis. I try to reason with an image of the hereafter, when the metropolis architecture could be made to react to the Delhi Metro, as a manner to visually perceive and see the urban built.

Literature reappraisal


Percept ( from the Latin perceptio, percipio ) is the organisation, designation, and reading of centripetal information in order to stand for and understand the environment. ( Schacter, Daniel ( 2011 ) . Psychology. Worth Publishers )




The best manner of looking to see them best. What does that connote? The manner to see a town, it may be said, is the ordinary one of merely looking at it as one goes about it, detecting such edifices as may possibly be peculiarly dramatic, peculiarly good ( or bad ) , and acquiring a general feeling of it as a whole. That is surely one way- and the general manner. But it is a limited manner. There is another, by which 1 may see much more. That manner is by looking non simply at the scenes but at the scenery. As state scenery is known to be called landscape, the urban scenery is called townscape.

The impressiveness of the Egyptian temple could be comprehended by walking thorugh a fundamentally one unidimensional consecutive line, the sphinx back street, prima towards its frontage.

Subsequently the Grecian designers of the Acropolis designed a two dimensional attack to the temple so that the visitants had to travel through the Propylaen, between the Erechteion and Parthenon, around the colonnades toward the chief entryway.

The Gothic cathedral besides applied this construct most intriguingly to the inside. The witness was placed in the thick of the nave, vaults, balcony and choir, and because the centre of co-ordinated infinite cells of all waies.

The Renaissance and the Baroque brought adult male into closer contact with inside and outside of the edifice. Apart from the “ hanging gardens ” of Semiramis and the Moorish-Spanish architecture, these were adult male ‘s first efforts to incorporate edifice and nature non simply fit edifice into its surrounding.

In our age of aeroplanes architecture is viewed non merely frontally and from the sides but besides from the above. The bird ‘s oculus position, and its antonyms, the worm ‘s and fish-eye positions, have become a day-to-day experience. Architecture appears no longer inactive, but if we think of it in footings of aeroplanes, cars and railroads, architecture is linked with motion. The chopper, for illustration, may alter the full facet of town and regional planning so that a formal structural congruity with the new component, clip and velocity, will attest itself.

Before stepping into the sphere of velocity and urban conveyance in item we must foremost understand the relevancy of gesture in visually sing a metropolis through a new manner of looking.



Urban scenery has been presented by painters and draftsmans through flat-two dimensional images of fixed and finite scenes. A demand was felt to interrupt from the manner of comprehending architecture through a series of inactive scenes, a series of image post card positions, looking at each edifice and other elements separately or in fixed composing, and therefore the term townscape was coined. The townscape is the urban opposite number of landscape. ( Crisp 1968 )

Townscapes are tools to visually see urban architecture. Townscapes learn a new manner of looking, in gesture, detecting the built environment, non merely looking at it, but comprehending it, through altering corporate positions.

In order to grok gesture in visually sing urban architecture, T. Sharp ( 1968 ) says, “ Apart from seeing single edifices and the single set scenes of a town, there is another sort of ocular experience, and a really enriching one, to be gained by looking at the town in this quite different manner: by seeing it, or at least extended parts of it in motion, as it were, as one moves about it. By seeing it non with the inactive but with the kinetic oculus. “ ( Crisp 1968, p.42 )

“ The of import thing is that, as the perceiver moves, the edifices and other objects in position alter non merely in the relation of their ain parts but in their but in their dealingss to the remainder of their seeable environment. Thus the confining construct of the single edifice or street scene as a three dimensional urban still life is tremendously extended. The townscape becomes a life traveling unfolding kinetic experience, becomes a complicated declaration of altering dealingss. ” ( Crisp 1968, p.43 )

Compared to the still position, in the townscape the quality of elaborate design in the elements of the composing, and the capacity to grok that quality is less of import. It is the involvement of the dealingss of the parts of the unfolding scenes, that affair. ( Crisp 1968 )


Speed is the property of sensed gesture that we use in judging the speed of physical gesture, the feeling of speed or awkwardness of motion.

Gesture, accelerated to high velocity, changes the visual aspect of the objects and makes it impossible to hold on their inside informations. There is clearly recognizable difference between the ocular experience of a prosaic and a driver in sing objects. The motor auto driver or aeroplane pilot can convey distant and unrelated landmarks into spacial relationships unknown to the prosaic. The difference is produced by the changed perceptual experience caused by the assorted velocities.

To turn out this Jean Carlu, the high Gallic posting interior decorator, made an experiment in 1937. He mounted two postings on two conveyer belts which moved at different velocities. The one posting, made by Toulouse-Lautrec around 1900, was moved at six to seven stat mis per hr ( about the velocity of Equus caballus and roadster ) ; the other, a modern-day posting was moved at 50 stat mis per hr ( the velocity of an car ) . Both postings could be read easy. Then Carlu accelerated the velocity of the Toulouse-Lautrec up to fifty stat mis per hr, and at this velocity the posting could be seen merely as a fuzz. The deductions are obvious. The creative person, designer, advertisement and show adult male, must get by with the rapidly traveling vehicles necessitating a new orientation toward spacial administration and communicating. A new point of view in the ocular humanistic disciplines is a natural effect of this age of velocity which has to see the moving oculus. ( Nagy 1947, p 245 )

Jean Labatu ( Princeton University ) had the undertaking of fixing effectual out-of-door advertisement for a mill site half a stat mi long, situated along a main road with heavy motor traffic. Analyzing the job, he found that the needed H2O shows, fountains, visible radiation, even the form of the pool which had to mirror the edifices, had to be related to the velocity, that is, the quickly altering place of the witness at the wheel. On the footing of computations as to the clip and view, he suggested a “ clip frontage ” . It consisted of uninterrupted nomadic visible radiation and H2O shows placed so that they could be absolutely seen in 30 to 60 seconds, the clip it took a auto to drive along the stretch at 30 to 60 stat mis per hr. Such and attack translates the inactive significance of advertisement into a kinetic procedure, “ shot at a traveling mark ” .

Photography, gesture images, the velocity surveies of futurism and cubism handled such facets intuitively, expecting the vision in gesture of a motorised universe long before an existent demand existed for a new ocular instruction based upon scientific criterions.


Whilst in gesture our position evolves from inactive to panoramic, characterized by a shifting position. Panoramic perceptual experience, looking at an full image or view as one is traveling through a topographic point at a high velocity is defined as zoomscape.

Zoomscape- a mostly optical manner of perceptual experience characterized by velocity and surface

Zoomscape explores the impact of mechanised transit and camera reproduction on the perceptual experience of architecture.

In the modern epoch, new ways of sing edifices and metropoliss have emerged, get downing with railwaies, go oning with cars, and so air travel. Transportation has basically altered our perceptual experience of the built environment.

We have become used to seeing architecture through disconnected displacements of point of view and via unexpected appositions. Vehicles zoom our across great distances at enormous speeds. While transit and camera engineerings do non replace direct brushs with edifices and topographic points, their ubiquitousness has altered architectural aesthetics. Percept flattens. Time exhausted with edifices diminishes. Seen in gesture, houses and whole metropoliss roll, break apart, and recombine. Seen in sequence, images superimpose upon one another and edifices are evaluated less by their weight and presence than by their fluctuating lineations. Seen within frames, architecture is experienced as graphical and pictural. ( Schwarzer 2004, p 12 )

What public see?

While we inhabit an overpoweringly built up universe, most of architecture receive merely go throughing glimpses. Few people understand edifices as designers do, as complex spatial and structural creative activities, described in proficient drawings, and explained in heavy theoretical and historical landmarks and territories, but most people, most of the clip, base on balls by the architectural landscape with small contemplation. Or do they? Attentiveness to architecture depends upon the context of the experience. When connected to art, to collective history, to personal history, to famous person or to a media narrative, architecture acquires a larger following. Like most things, architecture means more when it mediates the extraordinary minutes of life.

Not merely does the reinforced universe alteration all the clip, but, through technological mediation, so excessively do its perceptual contexts, co-ordinates, and restraints. Today, for edifices or cityscapes to be noticed, they must be viewed in provinces of mediated perception- energized in speed or dazzling visible radiation and sound effects. ( Schwarzer 2004, p 14 )

Rapid motion on trains, cars, or aeroplanes nowadayss perceivers with a ocular field dissimilar from that experienced while walking. Machine speed induces the foreground to film over and the background to look like an lineation ; the way of motion expands or contracts the ocular field.

The ocular has become dominant in nomadic perceptual experience. Walking requires considerable muscular attempt. In a vehicle, the muscular work involved in maneuvering or speed uping is minimum. “ Ocular stimulation becomes proportionately more of import than the bodily stimulation in these comparatively inactive types of motive power. “ ( James J Gibson, The Perception of the ocular universe, 1950, p 135 )

Speed is a theoretical term, it could be calculated and analysed but perceptual experience of velocity through our human senses is extremely inaccurate and slippery. Therefore in order to better understand ocular experience by associating to practical perceivable state of affairss we shall associate different scopes of velocity to different manners of transit. Among velocity there are assorted other facets and restraints related to each manner of transit that influence architectural experience which shall be discussed in brief.


The frame of position is the windscreen. As we travel through the landscape, we imagine what is beyond the frame, what might uncover itself and what might stay concealed from position. The zoomscape is informed by expectancy and sequence. The windshield Acts of the Apostless as the go-between between the driver and the environment, leting “ for a scope of perceptual experiences within the same glimpse, from the object in the universe to the automotive framing of its position, from the fuzz of a edifice wall to the smudge of soil on the windscreen, from the larger organisation of the universe we are voyaging to the workings of machines and go throughing illusions in head. ( Whistler 2010 )

The manner a individual views the landscape of the auto is drastically different from sing at a still place. A driver will be more cognizant of the roadway in front of him than of the infinites and edifices on either side. As velocity additions, that country that a individual notices diminishes. Automotive perceptual experience depends on the kinaesthetic motion of the caput and the upper organic structure as a driver responds to different positions. ( Whistler 2010 )

Architecture can be read at assorted velocities, whether it be at the gait of a individual walking, running, biking or drive. Not merely is perceptual experience about how infinite is viewed, it is besides how one moves through infinite at different velocities. ( Whistler 2010 )

Case Surveies:

1. Diller and Scofidio ‘s Slow House

Illustration: Analytique, Diller + Scofidio, Slow HOuse, transition from ruse to nature

2. Mies Van Der Rohe ‘s Barcelona Pavilion

Illustration: Barcelona marquee, sequence of circulation and positions


In 1825, the universe ‘s first railway line opened in England between the towns of Stockton and Darlington. The trip about nine stat mis took two hours, somewhat faster than walking, although during the concluding stretch into Stockton velocities of 15 stat mis per hr were reached. Paths shortly spread throughout England and the industrializing universe. In the United States there were 23 stat mis of path in 1830. By 1860, the figure had climbed to more than 30,000 stat mis, and rider trains traveled at velocities between 20 and 30 stat mis per hr, three times the velocity of a Equus caballus drawn manager. Toward 1900, train velocities of more than 50 stat mis per hr were common. And by the late 20th century, slug trains routinely charged across the landscape at about 200 stat mis per hr.

Excerpt on Indian Railways

Along the spread outing rail lines of the 19th and 20th centuries, the apprehension of architecture grew from local to regional and finally to continental scale.. Gradually, the spread edifices and topographic points along the rail paths fused into shared viisual individualities and heritages. Alternatively of understanding a topographic point mostly through one ‘s ability to walk about its streets or avenues, people who rode the tracks began to recogniea additive, straggling impression of topographic point: metropoliss elongated into the countryside, towns making other towns, the edifices of one topographic point associating to those of another through the newfound propinquity afforded by trains. ( Schwarzer 2004, p 14 )

Everything felt different from fast traveling trains. No longer did people see the built environment with their full scope of senses. Rail vision was no ordinary manner of sight. It was a new manner of screening, portion homo and portion machine- the vision of speed. The effects were tickle pinking but besides clashing. Seen from a train, plants of architecture seemed to hotfoot in and out of position like blasts of air current. Pieces of edifices or Bridgess, witnessed seconds apart, joined together. Features near to the train could experience hazardously near to the compartment and appeared more liquid than solid. Faraway constructions could look uncannily remote. Because of its smooth horizontal flight, and because it separated the topographic point of sing from the things being viewed, the train turned the reinforced environment in something of a moving image show. ( Schwarzer 2004, p 32 )

The rail position besides introduced new limitations to the ocular perceptual experience of the built environment. Unlike cars or aeroplanes, trains class along fixed lines of path. The rail position occurs along pre-determined right-of-ways, a separate rail infinite. ( Schwarzer 2004, p 32 )

Contrary to the frontal position from the engine or the round views available on particular screening autos, the rectangular Windowss of siting compartments afford small sense of where the train is heading, Passengers gaze diagonally or sideways, at objects hotfooting by. Experienced at velocities out of sync with the human organic structure, the rail position frequently finds itself out of position, seeking for fixed signifier while the engine moves steadily frontward, stat mi after engineered stat mi. ( Schwarzer 2004, p 33 )

The landscape built by the railwaies and seen from them is a topographic point fleeting and additive, and environment the throes of motion and alteration, a corridor of new and old, of innovation succeeded by obsolescence. The deductions for the experience of architecture were, from the start, profound. Alternatively of cognizing edifices and metropoliss inside out, seeing them easy and near at manus, the rail traveler perceived merely go throughing surfaces, glimpsed from a distance. The racy, animal and sustained relationship to edifice becomes a fast, flattened regard. The position from the train can either vault into the nothingness ( and the hereafter ) that lies in front or acquire left behind on the side of the paths. ( Schwarzer 2004, p 39 )

From the train, architecture is witnessed as a downpour of images from which viewing audiences can frequently spot merely the effect of customary significances. ( Schwarzer 2004, p 33 )

Case Surveies:

1. Fagus Factory


Jaeggi, Annemarie, Fagus: Industrial civilization from Werkbund to Bauhaus, Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 2000

Kepes, Gyorgy,The nature and art of gesture, New York: George Braziller, 1965

Nagy, L, Moholy,Vision in gesture, Michigan: P. Theobald, 1947

Schwarzer, Mitchell,Zoomscape: architecture in gesture and media, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004

Sharp, Thomas,Town and townscape, Great Britain: Jarrold & A ; Sons Ltd, 1968

Whisler, E, Bailey,Position from the Road: pass oning the history of path 66 through nomadic perceptual experience, Master of Architecture: Thesis,2010


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