How do you think the circulation paths through your building affect one’s experience of the space?

Posted: January 9th, 2023

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“The path of our movement can be conceived as the perceptual thread that links the spaces of a building, or any series of interior or exterior spaces, together. Since we move in Time through a Sequence of Spaces, we experience a space in relation to where we’ve been and where we anticipate going….Prior to actually passing into the interior of a building, we approach its entrance along a path. This is the first phase of the circulation system, during which we are prepared to see, experience, and use the spaces within a building…All paths of movement, whether of people, cars, goods, or services, are linear in nature. And all paths have a starting point, from which we are taken through a sequence of spaces to our destination.” (Ching 252-254, 276)
To explore movement through a building and the way it affects and is affected by the overall spatial organization, you will need to use the plan of your building for this week’s exercise.
1. Using a colored pen or pencil, trace what you identify as the primary axis through your building from entry to exit.
2. Using a different colored pen or pencil, trace any secondary axes or paths that intersect or exist alongside this main axis.
3. Describe how the main axis of your building organizes the spaces along its path. Does it flow through them or are they adjacent to it? Does the circulation take you into the heart of the building or along its edge?
4. Now describe how the secondary paths intersect with the primary axis. What happens at these intersections in the plan? Are they marked in some way in the plan of the building?
5. How do you think the circulation paths through your building affect one’s experience of the space?

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