Eroticism of Space

written by Juhani Pallasmaa


The erotic dimension of architecture has been the subject of literary and scholarly studies since Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (1499), an illustrated amalgamation of a dream-like love poem and a treatise of the secrets of ancient architecture, attributed to the Franciscan friar Francesco Colonna (1433-1527). Hypernerotomachia is a love story disguised as an architectural treatise in which architecture and its elements stand for the desired body of a lover. In fact, the professional precision of the architectural descriptions in the book has given rise to speculation that the real writer was none other than Leon Battista Alberti.