The lattice as vertical stratum in the architecture of Alison and Peter Smithson


  • Sonia Delgado Berrocal Universidad Politécnica de Madrid



lattices, layers, Smithson, space between, art of inhabitation


This article discusses the concepts of lattices, stratum and stratification, based on the discourse narrated by Alison Smithson in her article “Layers and layering” (1981), and the works in which Alison and Peter Smithson worked with the strata and the stratification, using the lattices as a means to carry out its architecture. In this sense, the Smithson –after several experiments with vertical strata that filtered and broke the classical static vision, as in the Ascot Pavilion, 1955–, raised an exploration that would take to two consecutives stages. The first stage is linked to the seventies, where the fixed lattices appeared as filters, veils, membranes, insinuating and protector skins, that is to say, weft flat surfaces (overlapping each other or on different spaces), as shown in St. Hilda's College, 1967-70. A second stage is related with the eighties, where those lattices begin to separate, creating intermediate spaces –to be occupied with the art of inhabitation– as in the exhibition Christmas Hogmanay, 1980, and that, subsequently, would finish ramifying three-dimensionally as in the porch of Hexenhaus, 1984-2002. These reflections will be re-taken in contemporary architecture, as new possible reference to the creation of stratified future spaces.


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Author Biography

Sonia Delgado Berrocal, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Departamento de Proyectos Arquitectónicos - Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid (ETSAM).


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Research articles
Received 2014-11-14
Accepted 2015-02-19
Published 2015-04-14