top of page

Urban Morphology

Athens - Budapest - Rotterdam

Research Thesis

University of Thessaly

Evelyn Gavrilou


Athens, Budapest, Rotterdam

September 2018







In this research, an attempt will be held to answer some of the questions of urban nature, that arose during my stay and activity in the three metropolises of the title: Athens, Budapest and Rotterdam. Being both an observer and a habitant in all of those cities, I was constantly processing the images of the urban environment to which I was exposed each time. Therefore, out of all the urban topics, the object of this research will more specifically focus on the image of the city. The investigation of the image of the city will be carried out through an extensive analysis, combining not only academic research methods but also various empirical data of my personal experience in each city.

Firstly, I define the methodology of this research through the study of the theoretical approaches of famous architects and urban designers, as well as linguists, in an effort to specify our research field but also shape the suitable tools and means in order to delve into the urban morphology. Afterwards, I analyze thoroughly each city, through a series of consecutive analytic steps organized in two phases.

Athens Urban Grid

Budapest Urban Grid

Rotterdam Urban Grid

In the first phase, I analyze the urban morphology through zooming in the urban tissue. From the urban tissue until some detailed fragments of the urban built mass, I create drawings for each city, in search of the average forms that are most commonly met throughout the city.To make a parallel with linguistics, the focus is placed on an active vocabulary and its syntax. Therefore, I use morphological techniques to examine the ordinary, non-monumental areas of the city and to stress the process and its structures over any given state or object, going beyond architecture and looking at the entire built landscape and its internal logic.

Athens Morphemes

Budapest Morphemes


Rotterdam Morphemes

The second phase will be an inversion of the first one. Here, a process of zoom out will be the main tool, only this time I will be focusing on the image and special character of each city. The urban forms and images of the three cities, will be compared and parallelly examined in order to point out the special characteristics of each one of them. After all, in this research we will try to comprehend in which manner and to what extent does the urban morphology affects and configures the image of the city, through focusing on the specific urban character that emerged in each city.

24 Athens inhabited fragments.jpg
23 Athens inhabited fragments.jpg

Athens Inhabited Fragmanets

25 Budapest inhabited fragments.jpg
27 Budapest inhabited fragments.jpg

Budapest Inhabited Fragmanets

26 Budapest inhabited fragments.jpg
29 Rotterdam inhabited fragments.jpg
28 Rotterdam inhabited fragments.jpg
30 Rotterdam inhabited fragments.jpg

Rotterdam Inhabited Fragmanets

Athens Facades

Budapest Facades

Rotterdam Facades

38 Budapest Genius Loci.jpg

Athens Genious Loci

39 Rotterdam Genius Loci.jpg

Budapest Genious Loci

Rotterdam Genious Loci

bottom of page