Narrative in architecture / landscape?

Heather Ring


I was wondering if anyone had good examples of the clear use of narrative in architecture / landscape. This could be through the representation of the project (ie. drawings, diagrams, etc that have a very narrative feel - ie storyboarding, borrowing from other mediums like comics or film), or as a way to interpret the actual project / space / site itself. I see Nigel Coates is coming out with a book on the subject, but it's not out yet!


Jan 30, 12 7:38 am
chatter of clouds

a classic unbuilt

its not so much the narrative of the narrative though.

more literally, theme parks of course.

Rita Novel could help muchly here.

actually, the all encompassing question belies the role of assotiative figurative thinking (metaphor, allegory, synecdoche..etc) in redefining the concept of narrative. for instance, does a transliteration of a pattern of  words in one medium into another of structures and spaces patterns in another constitute a trans-narrativization? do you define a narrative as the concrete tangible pattern of structuring elements or its elusive abstract  denotation? if the former, then a grid is a structural device of an architectural narrative - for instance. alternatively, if the latter, then architecture and  narrative would be contigently liberated from the burdening yoke of each other. in short, it alld epends on how you understand "narrative". is it the story itself or the structure, flow and articulation of the story? in his criticism of narrative in its tyrinnical hold over cinema, i do not believe peter greenaway gave much credence to the idea that perhaps his supplanting structuring devices (numbers, alphabets, lists...etc) might be deemed narratives of sorts. one may understand mathematical thinking, for instance, narrativally - it is the story of 1 meeting 1 to produce 2, 1 meeting 2 to produce 3...etc.

its all interesting and i feel that the word "narrative" is a compound of diffrent kernels, not just one.


Jan 30, 12 8:29 am  · 

Hi Heather!

Tschumi's Parc La Villette is has a cinematic meta-narrative of a film strip splayed over the site, but there are few connections between the elements of the, instead it's more about juxtaposition versus a narrative sequence. Other Tschumi projects continue his obsession with cinema, and most fail to realize a true narrative.

There were tons of projects from the 80s and early 90s that were 'textual' in that they were inspired by texts, words, the act of reading, and the precepts of de-construction. Most don't have a narrative as landscape architecture these-days thinks of narrative. but there are rich set of crazy ideas to look into (like designing a project in response to Finnegan's Wake...)


Jan 30, 12 3:16 pm  · 

Heather, check out an Archinect fav, and a personal one as well, - Jimenez Lai. Not forgetting of course Archigram.

Jan 30, 12 4:50 pm  · 

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: