John Poros
College of Architecture, Art, and Design, Mississippi State University
P.O. Box AQ, Mississippi State, MS 39762 USA

Bell Banner geometry, Priory of the Annunciation, digital model by author

The use of ruled surfaces proliferated in post-WWII architecture due to the influence of engineer/ architects such as Nervi and Candela, who saw the ruled surface as the geometrical underpinning for highly efficient shell surfaces. Marcel Breuer, while using ruled surfaces in structurally advantageous ways, also looked to these geometries for architectural expression. This paper will explore the use of these ruled geometries in structural and non-structural roles in Breuer's work. The use of rules surfaces both structurally and non-structurally indicates that Breuer thought primarily of these geometries for their qualities of space and form rather than their structural role. Breuer also used ruled geometries in ways that contradicted their structural role to create unexpected contradictions and tension in his work.

About the author
John Poros is an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at Mississippi State University. He is currently the director of the Carl Small Town Center, a community design and outreach component of the school. He is also the former director of the Educational Design Institute, a research center for improving school design. Before joining the faculty at Mississippi State ten years ago, Prof. Poros had worked with the architecture firm of Kieran Timberlake Associates in Philadelphia for seven years. He has taught as an adjunct professor at Philadelphia College as well. Prof. Poros received his Masters of Architecture Degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and his Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University.

The correct citation for this paper is:
John Poros, "The Ruled Geometries of Marcel Breur", pp.233-242 in Nexus VII: Architecture and Mathematics, ed. Kim Williams, Turin: Kim Williams Books, 2008.