The Hierarchies of the Void, Based on A Re-Reading of Christopher Alexander
Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

One of the concepts discussed in architecture is that of ‘The Void’, with Christopher Alexander being one of the proponents. He does this through three associated concepts, namely, the more explicit ‘The Great Void’, and ‘Voidness’, and the more implicit‘ The Void’. He has distinct definitions for each, but never tries to clearly connect them. However, it seems that they are associated with the hierarchies of the same concept in Alexander, and can be understood as parts of a comprehensive whole.
The present paper seeks to delve deeper into Alexander's views and, using an Islamic perspective, analyse the hierarchies of these concepts and their interrelations, and through rational reasoning cast some light on the less-known aspects of his thought. This results in the emergence of a concentric constellation of the void hierarchies in which the ‘The Great Void’ is at the centre, having the innermost and most subtle position, with others organised around its central position. Around this constellation are five other tiers of the concept, with the outermost being ‘simplicity’ and ‘emptiness’ located in the world of the sensual, or architecture, conveying a sense of the manifestation of the ‘Great Void’ in the form of spiritual freedom.

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