The Closed and Open Orders

Closed and Open order is a great way to read the city beyond the ideas of style or materials but by progression and arrangement of spaces and their relations.

The Closed Order engages with the squares, avenues, gardens and courtyards of a traditional European city. Ensembles are more essential than isolated masterpieces. The proportion of spaces are intimately related. Outside Spaces are conceived of as types of rooms. A way of thinking of Architecture in the city in relation to the buildings that pre-exists it.

Boulogne- Billancourt by Fernand Pouillon closed order development in Paris

The Open Order, more associated with modernism where the buildings are designed in isolation and are apart from the city to some extent. A great example of this is in Marseille, with Corbusiers Unité d’Habitation innovation and precedent are put above context and continuity. The car over the pedestrian. Genius above co-operation.

Plan Voisin for Paris by Le Corbusier open order replacing closed order


The Open and Closed Orders are talked about at length by Jacques Lucan in Fernand Pouillon as a Theorectical Problem, or the Internal Landscape of Architecture an essay in The Stones of Fernand Pouillon

Links to this Post

September 1, 2023