The Praxis of Roman Geometrical Ordering in the Design of a New American Prairie House

  • Donald J. Watts


A new strategy for studying the properties and processes of ancient geometrical architectural design occurred in 1988 with the design and construction of the Watts house in Manhattan, KS, USA. Utilization of geometrical design properties gleaned from classical Roman architecture in an actual design application yielded a number of valuable insights. Putting the process into practice revealed its basic pragmatic virtues in terms of directly setting out the design upon the site using datums and proceeding to investigate alternative commensurate subdivisions of the datum frame. This directness of application extends to the actual construction process where some of the geometrical design processes are also done at full scale. The directness of this application provides a ready feedback and verification of the design in the field. It can also provide the opportunity for unforeseen minor adjustments in the original design. In doing so, the process allows for improving the fit between the original design intention and its final implementation.


Living Room Building Site House Mass Geometric System Floor Elevation 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The College of Architecture, Planning and DesignKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA

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