House(s) on a Slope: Reciprocity in Architecture

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Virginia Tech


The word reciprocity describes the multi dimensional relationship between architecture and its site. The definition of reciprocity is commonly understood as mutual exchange and dependence. As "site" provides a place for architecture, architecture bears the social responsibility to provide comfort, protection, function and connectivity to the site and its environment.

Harmony in architecture is a result of reciprocity; it is the result of the reciprocity between the nature and artifice. When architectural form adopts and supports each element on the site, the site will be enhanced from the establishment of architecture. In a macro sense, architectural forms become icons, landmarks, or spiritual backgrounds for culture and events. These activities of exchange and dependency assist in holding culture values and integrating society.

It is the architect's social responsibility to cultivate this experience and to disseminate this idea. Fundamentally, architects must consider the user needs and establish proper connections between the architecture and its site.

Reciprocity confirms the existence of architecture.