Tuesday, September 28, 2010


This introductory project initiates the students to the dynamic perception of space and movement in an Architectural Promenade.

Our relationship to space is fundamentally dynamic. Our body is almost in perpetual motion. We experience space in an ever-changing angle. We move, rotate, ascend or descend, move head, raise eyes.
Even when our body is still, interior and exterior spaces of buildings are in constant flux, influenced by the changing climatic conditions and natural light.
Finally, people perceive, use and transform the architecture of buildings, streets and places in choreographic spaces hosting human activities.

The conception and realization of every new space thus requires from the architect to simulate the perception of the user, but also needs to base on abstraction, otherwise the final result will be incoherent and uninteresting.
This idea is exemplified by the “ Less is more” principle of architect Mies Van Der Rohe. To get to the “more” of each space, he grasped the “ less”.

Methodology of Work

Before the promenade, Students will proceed systematically by first reading D.K.Ching’s Architecture,Form, Space and Order.
In the first step of the exercise, students will walk around the accessible exterior spaces and interior public spaces of the LAU Campus in Beirut. Attention will be paid to perspectives, axis, change of levels, change of scale, effects of anticipation and discovery, transparence and reflection, transition betweens interior and exterior space, main elements structuring interior and exterior, enfilade of spaces, ect…

Prior to conveying his experience and perception of space, a cinematographer undertakes such a promenade: He walks, observes, notes, and compares how architecture is provoking a dynamic and sensitive experience of space. It is only when he understands the dynamics of space that he will be able later to use space as an active agent through his storyboard, and when filming his sequence. Similarly, Students will learn how to perceive space and movement and how to express them before deploying them in their architecture.

In this promenade you need to proceed in a systematic way: see D.K.Ching’s Architecture, Form, Space and Order, Chapter 5, Approach.
The students will then choose one significant spatial sequence to study. Study in order:
1-the exterior approach towards the site
2-the transition between exterior and interior
3-the configuration and the pricipla elements structuring interior and exterior spaces
4-the relationship between circultation and main spaces, changes of levels, ect..

-Draw a reference site plan and longitudinal of the selected trajectory on a 1/250 scale.
-Using sketches and vignettes, identify an inventory of spaces that shows the dynamic effects and changes of perception of space.
-Tag those spaces that form your sequence with comments describing your impressions and draw plans and sections at scale 1/100 of the architectural elements that originated those impressions.

Refer to D.K.Ching’s Architecture, Form , Space and Order, Chapter 3,4,6, for additional architectural language.

Assignment Due: Wednesday October 6, 2pm

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