Digital Temples: a Shape Grammar to generate sacred building according to Alberti's theory

Bruno Figueiredo, Eduardo Castro e Costa, José Pinto Duarte, Mário Krüger

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding

100 Citations (SciVal)


The research presented further is part of the Digital Alberti research project, which aims to determine the influence of Alberti’s treatise on Architecture, De re aedificatoria, on the Portuguese Renaissance architecture, through the use of a computational framework. One of the project tasks entailed the translation of the treatise’s textual descriptions concerning the morphological, proportional and algorithmic principles of the sacred buildings into a shape grammar. Subsequently a computational model was developed, in order to proceed to the derivation of examples of the same language. This article discusses the use of analytical shape grammars to undertake an architectural analysis, as well as the possibility of the source of this grammar and correspondent architectural language to be a text instead of a set of buildings and designs. It reviews the methodology to implement the shape grammar and describes the several stages of development, following the interpretation of treatise into a consistent set of shape rules, by defining their spatial relations, parameters and conditions. It also reviews the implementation of this knowledge into a generative parametric computer program through visual programming language Grasshopper. Keywords: Shape Grammars; Parametric Modelling; Generative Design; Alberti; Classical Architecture
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFuture Traditions, Rethinking Traditions and Envisioning the Future in Architecture Through the Use of Digital Technologies
Place of PublicationPorto
PublisherFAUP Publicações
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-989-8527-03-5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013


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