DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Energy and Form

an Ecological Approach to Urban Growth


 by Ralph Knowles


From the beginning, the people of Mesa
Verde took refuge in these caves. In spite
of some dampness and danger from fall·
iog sandstone, the caves had the advantage
of being highly defensible. They
were exposed on only one side and were
often located several hundred feet above
the valley floor. In addition to offering
a good defense. they gave some protection
from the weather. When permanent
dwellings were finally built into the caves,
the slate floors acted as a gocd foundation,
and the years 01 flaking had produced
something of a natural Quarry, With small
stones from the cave, larger stones and
short timbers from the mesa, and clay
from the river below, living spaces were
enclosed in a terraced arrangement in
which the roof of olle space became the
terrace of the olle above and further to
the rear of the cave (fig, 2.4), The ter·
races were generally at a lower elevation
at the cliff face and rose step by step un·
til they met the sandstone overhead at
the rear.


ralph knowles.pdf



Architecture and Symbolism in
Transitional Pueblo Development in the
Mimbres Valley, swNewMexico
Harry J. Shafer

The architectural changes are traced from extended-entrance pithouses) a transition ofmodified pithouses beginning in the early 10th century A.C.) to sunken floor rooms with cobble-adobe wall construction) and ending with surface pueblos ofthe Classic Mimbres Period in the early 11th century. Taxonomically) the period in question has been labeled the Mangas phase) and a critique ofthe concept is presented. The architectural changes have been linked to a greater reliance on agriculture and changing storage practices brought about by population increase. The shift to ceiling hatchways) slab-lined hearths) and sub-jloor burials) however are changes that may be linked to symbolic expressions ofthe multi-layered universe and passage to the Otherworld) a cosmology common not only throughout the Puebloan and Mesoamerican areas) but traceable back to the Chihuahuan Desert Archaic.


architecture and symbolism in transitional pueblo devolopment.pdf


architecture as artifact.pdf


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

                              MACHU PICCHU      George Kubler



The town lies on a grassy saddle between two peaks, 2000
feet above a horseshoe bend in the Urubamba River.
Its long axis points to the north, but flanking this
axis are terraced contours falling away abruptly on
the east and west into blue-green abysses. The terracing
is so steep that all the cross axes are staircases.
The dimensions and directions of the town are
uaround" and H Up" and Hdown"; the units of urban
space are contoured terraces, rising by pyramidal
stages and spreading across the saddle like a blanket
of ribbed and stony weave.

The site is a sugar-loaf peninsula drded by the
Urubamba; the rush of the river waters rises to the
ear on all sides to give the illusion of a mountain
island aBoat upon a sea studded with other islands
and bathed at dawn and dusk by Chinese washes of
fog and mist. The river bottom is garlanded with
large tropical fruits and Bowers: up above in the
town the terraces are covered during July and August
with small wild strawberries and tiny Bowers. Within
the eye lie both tropical valleys and peaks with eternal
snow: the extremes of reality are simultaneously
present in space and in time.
The double Quechua economy
Categorical contrasts appear again in the social dimension.
The purpose of the settlement is not clear. Its
strategic and demographic conditions are unknown;
its economic relationship to other communities is
unclear; and the town has been variously regarded as
a fortress, as a temple, as a nunnery-town and as a
reson. A large pan of this obscurity is owing to the
absence of any permanent written record in preconquest
Peru; consequently we know less about the history
of the Andean peoples than we do about predynastic
Egypt four millennia earlier. Nonexistent
defenses make it unlikely that Machu Picchu was
built for military reasons; in addition practically all
tombs contained the bodies of women only. The discovery
in 1940-42 of six more towns south of Machu
Picchu among the weStern tributaries of the Urubamba
suggests that the region upstream was among
the most densely inhabited provinces of the Inca
empire. Two of these towns cover more land than
Machu Picchu, but their construction is less dense.
One may conjecture that the Urubamba region was
a frontier opening upon the Amazonian rainforests
of eastern South America, serving to survey and control
the movements of lowland tribes towards the
Andean plateaus under Inca government, in addition
to being a land of beauty and ease for austere highlanders.


machu picchu.pdf


semiotics of andean terracing.pdf


inca quarrying and stonecutting.pdf


Intimachay a december solstice observatory at machu picchu.pdf

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.



In primitive architecture there was no effort for effect-no loss of
luaterial; primitive man had neither the time nor the intellect to
spend on structures that are dictated solely by fashion or caprice. He
advances slowly and with caution, evolving beforehand his methods
of procedure. From natural shelters like caves he gradually progresses
through the various stap;es of a single windbreak to a partially
closed hut, and finally to the perfected form of an enclosed dwelling.
In the case of sedentary tribes these dwellings are constructed
with great care and skill, and sonletinles attempts at ornamentation
are 'made. With nomadic tribes there is less architectural advancement, but each applies his knowledge and means as best he may.
To us, with our comfortable homes, our huge hotels, our gigantic
office buildings, our churches, our theaters, our railway stations, our
factories, our elevators, our steam heat, our electric light, and the
thousand and one conveniences and necessities of modern life, the
structures of primitive peoples appear meager and insufficient. It
should be remembered, however, that anyof our modern conveniences
are intended to supply artificial wants and that the necessities
of to-day were unknown the ,day before yesterday. The hut of
the Adamese doubtless answers all his ideas of comforts and is eminentlyadapted
to the life he leads. We, on the other hand, are
constantly striving for changes and irnprovenlents and are never
satisfied with the best results we can obtain. Primitive architecture
luay be stationary-it may exist in fornls to-day that were employed
thousands of years ago-but it is the faithful reflection of the environment
and is thoroughly, suited to the uses to which it is put.
No further confirmation of this is needed than the fact that when
Europeans take up their abode in tropical countries they follow the
native methods of architecture so far as a prejudiced judgment will


climactic influences in primitive architecture.pdf

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.