Architectural sub-elements

November 2006 - G. Buccellati
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Concepts
Material sub-elements
Organizational sub-elements
Terminology

Concepts

     An element is a structurally coherent ensemble – thus a wall is seen as an organized construction made up of components (bricks, stones) laid according to a specific pattern, resulting in well defined faces, having recurrent organizational modules (e.g., a certain width), etc.
     A sub-element is a constructional component of an element – thus it subordinate to the element as a whole, either because of the the discreteness of its physical nature (the material) or because of the difference in the organization of these material sub-elements.
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Material sub-elements

      relating to constructional material
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Organizational sub-elements

      relating to constructional organization
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Terminology

     The term "sub-element" highlights the conceptual priority of the element. In fact, a sub-element can be so identified only in function of a larger coherent whole (the element) within which it is logically nested.
     The organizational sub-element correspond to the USM ("Unità stratigrafica muraria") of the Italian approach to the developmental analysis of architecture.
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