Urban Walls

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Virginia Tech


"Edge. a. The line of intersection of two surfaces. b. A rim or brink. c. The point at which something is likely to begin. d. The area or part away from the middle; an extremity. e. A dividing line; a border."

Edges are linear elements that create boundaries between two entities and linear breaks in continuity: shores, railroad cuts, walls. They act as lateral references rather that coordinate axes. "Those edges seem strongest which are not only visually prominent but also continuous in form and impenetrable to cross movement. An edge may be more than simply a dominant barrier if some visual or motion penetration is allowed through it then it becomes a seam rather than a barrier, a line of exchange along which two areas are sewn together."

In our built environment an edge is defined and made permanent by the presence of a wall just as a line defines an edge on paper. Walls are the physical as well as the metaphorical representation of an edge. This thesis will examine the edge at the urban-suburban threshold of a city and private-public threshold of a neighborhood.



barrier, edge, glass bridge, suburban, threshold, urban wall