Nexus Network Journal

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 63–81

Differentiating between Line and Point Maps Using Spatial Experience: Considering Richard Neutra’s Lovell House


DOI: 10.1007/s00004-012-0134-4

Cite this article as:
Ostwald, M.J. & Dawes, M. Nexus Netw J (2013) 15: 63. doi:10.1007/s00004-012-0134-4


Space Syntax researchers have demonstrated methods for mapping and analysing zones (rooms) and lines (paths) in plans. One Space Syntax technique that is rarely used is focussed on the mapping of points (intersections) in architectural plans, and is an inversion of a more common approach to the mapping of lines (paths) in plans. From a graph theory perspective, the former point map is a dual of the latter, primal line map; meaning the two are numerically comparable. In this paper such a comparison is used to investigate if there is any difference between the capacity of line and point maps to suggest the spatial experience of the individual. The case study chosen to develop such a comparative analysis is Richard Neutra's Lovell House. This design is mapped, using both line and point techniques, and mathematically analysed to determine the socially significant paths and intersections. A selected investigation of the intelligibility implications of these lines and points along with their three-dimensional properties is then developed. The paper concludes that there is some evidence that, for point and line maps with similar mathematical properties, point maps are more successful at suggesting the experiential qualities of space.


Space syntaxaxial line analysisintersection analysisgraph mathematicsRichard NeutraLovell House
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© Kim Williams Books, Turin 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Architecture and Built EnvironmentThe University of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia