Since the late 1970s, Complexity Scientists have shown that many natural systems possess similar geometric patterns that are repeated over multiple scales of observation. This observation lead to the development of fractal geometry, as a means for determining, over progressive scales, the characteristic visual complexity of natural systems and forms. More recently it has been demonstrated that fractal geometry can also be useful for measuring the visual complexity of the constructed environment. As a result of this, it became possible, in the late 1990s to compare the fractal dimensions of both natural and constructed forms and thereby investigate the extent to which buildings are a reflection of their natural setting. The most famous examples of this provided evidence that a formal connection could be traced between the city of Amasya in Turkey and the landforms of its natural setting, and a similar argument has been made about Sea Ranch in California. With only minimal evidence, a range of conclusions were drawn from this early work about the connection and influence of a local ecology on local architecture. The present article re-tests these previous results using a more refined, computational version of the fractal analysis method.
Architectural Science Review Vol. 53, Issue 3, p. 323-332
This is an electronic version of an article published in Architectural Science Review Vol. 53, Issue 3, p. 323-332. Architectural Science Review is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=0003-8628&volume=53&issue=3&spage=323