The reintroduction of nature within architecture and the city: The contemporary re-emergence of the hortus conclusus in the built environment

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The courtyard typology is among the oldest formats of human habitat and many ancient cultures placed
enclosed gardens, as abstracted and idealised recreations of the natural world and paradise, within their
architecture and cities, as exemplified by the Moorish garden courtyards of the Alhambra, enclosed
Japanese stone gardens, such as at Ryōan-ji, and the varying courtyard typologies of Asian houses, in which
a courtyard metaphorically connects the earth with the heaven.
Subsequently and most markedly in modern architecture there has been an increasing tendency to see
buildings rather as objects within the landscape and in marked contrast to nature. More recently this
understanding has undergone a major shift in an alternative direction and the hortus conclusus, or enclosed
garden is becoming increasingly applicable to contemporary architecture, especially in urban contexts in
which direct connection with landscape, or ‘nature’, is often unachievable. This paper, thus, seeks to
consider the hortus conclusus, more specifically within the Asian and Australian context, from its origins to
the present day in order to trace its potential relevance into the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the UIA 2017 Seoul World Architects Congress
PublisherUIA 2017 Seoul
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)979-11-961666-1-8 , 955610
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017
EventInternational Union of Architects (UIA) 2017 Seoul World Architects Congress - Seoul, Korea, Democratic People's Republic of
Duration: 3 Sep 20177 Sep 2017
Conference number: 26


ConferenceInternational Union of Architects (UIA) 2017 Seoul World Architects Congress
CountryKorea, Democratic People's Republic of
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