We describe places, cities, and spaces as elements of visual culture. The eyes that see try to gather all they can to fit in its expression of pragmatic and aesthetic appeal. Architecture strives to sit between the functional and aesthetical dominance established by the humans traversing through the space. Architecture or instead built space is not merely for the architects and designers who design and give them an identity, but for the users who occupy these squares and provide them with life. Otherwise, architecture is merely a space set for the assumptions and records of humans about how once a life flourished, and now it just sits idly, waiting for someone to revive and allow it to breathe.
Even though we encounter a lot of visual substances in our day-to-day life, our eyes only register the information it seeks to gulp in. The architecture establishes itself as an impression of a time and the charisma it used to inhabit. The detailing, the grandeur, and the aesthetic appeal led to a surreal experience that sets humans in awe of the built environment. Architecture is the art of creating experiences. With this means, architecture strives to develop its impression by abstracting its narration to the users inhabiting the space.
When we say architecture, what comes to mind is an art of construction that deals with collaborating the purpose of inhabitation with aesthetical interference. This kind of artform impacts the users by decoding the motive and the intentions embedded in the walls of the building. As paintings are embedded with the complexity of euphoric impressions, similarly, the narrations of the wall signify visual objectification of the matter that once existed. Understanding the narrations with the tactile quality of architecture impacts the users by sensorially attaching to them.
Juhani Pallasma said, “Even visual perceptions are fused and integrated into the haptic continuum of the self; my body remembers who I am and how I am located in the world.” The line suggests how architecture can with-holds humans’ perception and memory onto their physical presence in this three-dimensional world. This built form addresses the senses of humans to narrate its existence amidst many objects that try to capture his attention.
With the evolution in technology and self-sufficiency, vision and aesthetics have become the driving force in the field. We now dive into the materials matter to analyse the effects of space-making to relive the qualities of spatial personification. Space has become an icon for transformation. The visual specifications connect with the superficial layer of the built form. It is the understanding of the endless opportunities that thrive in front of users that try to personify the connections of his world into accurate data that is presented as a built work of emotions and stories that envelop the physical world.
The dialectical discussion of the visual versus the multi-sensoriality of the space forms the reconstructed experience that allows one to delve deeper into the notion of timelessness and consciousness of architectural expressions. The symbolic threshold of being captures the sensitivity of the structures designed for specificities that debate what we see, feel, understand and know in terms of purpose and perception of space-making.
The perception leads to understanding the connection of the place with the immediate surroundings and the humans that cultivate and use the space for growth. The tactility becomes the main associating factor of the architecture, guiding our perception of how to correspond and communicate with the built form.
The construction of spaces yields visual properties that associate metaphorical understanding of how the materials and their combination deliver a better experience of oneself. The realisation and materialisation of architecture cultivate the spatial understanding that propagates even more than the established constructed space.
Let us understand the impact of architecture on the users incorporating the space by the Swiss Sound Box and Hotel RAAS examples. Swiss Sound Box, designed by Peter Zumthor, portrayed multiple facets of Swiss Culture. The understanding of materiality, light, colours and music created a strong presence in various performances that made a whole. The constructability of the space triggered the objects of the space while curating a system expressed by its visual pockets of materials. The amalgamation of multiple nooks of place and culture is portrayed in a physical medium and narrates its stories to the individuals visiting the space.
Similarly, Hotel RAAS, designed by Studio Lotus, narrates the place-making through the conscious use of materials, informing the visitors about the effects of contemporising the culture and material techniques into our modern needs. The curation of the region into the contemporary signifies the impact of architecture on the individuals to connect to the place without even being notified about the richness of one’s culture in and around him.
Architecture is a model of information that is seen, understood, acknowledged and taken forward to link to the space. With the fast pace of growth having similar visual forms in terms of architectural structures, the city’s and culture’s significance is at a loss. Architecture affects the users by its material presence on how the city and its hold on its language stand tall. Materials and architecture become a natural source of information that impacts the users by describing their stories and connectivity to the space. Architecture informs the value of space by constructively criticising the needs and wants of its context to the users inhabiting the space.
Pallasmaa, J., 2012. The eyes of the skin. 3rd ed. Chichester: Wiley.
Bachelard, G. and Jolas, M., 2014. The poetics of space. Penguin Classics.
WikiArquitectura. 2022. ✅ Swiss Sound Pavilion – Data, Photos & Plans – WikiArquitectura. [online] Available at: <https://en.wikiarquitectura.com/building/swiss-sound-pavilion/> [Accessed 22 June 2022].
ArchDaily. 2013. Raas Jodhpur / The Lotus Praxis Initiative. [online] Available at: <https://www.archdaily.com/423405/raas-jodhpur-the-lotus-praxis-initiative> [Accessed 23 June 2022].
Img 1: https://www.archdaily.com/533664/ad-classics-thorncrown-chapel-e-fay-jones?ad_medium=gallery
Img 2, 3: https://www.archdaily.com/91273/ad-classics-jewish-museum-berlin-daniel-libeskind
Img 4: https://www.archdaily.com/900189/peter-zumthors-kolumba-museum-uses-local-materials-to-reframe-historic-experience?ad_medium=gallery
Img 5: https://divisare.com/authors/9987-architekturb-ro-peter-zumthor/projects
Img 6: https://en.wikiarquitectura.com/building/swiss-sound-pavilion/
Img 7: https://www.archdaily.com/423405/raas-jodhpur-the-lotus-praxis-initiative