what is the difference between SPACE and PLACE in architectural terms?
Can we make a space into a place?
Space is the raw material an architect uses to create Places.
‘Space’ to a layman is everything beyond Earth. To an architect, ‘Space’ is anything that hosts ‘Design’.
Here, ‘Design’ stands for material that defines the limit of the space. When Design is introduced to a space, the space gets a character of its own.
When this character becomes so strongly reinforced in the minds of people, the space transcends into a ‘Place’
For example, consider Space.
1. Lets get Earth into the picture. In fact, a green open part of the Earth.
This space has got no character yet. It is perceptually ‘one-dimensional’.
2. Lets convert the space to a place. Lets start by adding some landscaping so that there is a context set. Lets add some trees.
Now, the space has got some detail. Now, there are terms that can be used such as: ‘near the tree’, 20m away from the tree, ‘height’ of the tree. The space is gaining more ‘dimensions’ or meaning.
3. Lets add a cottage in the space near the trees.
The space has now started getting a character. The space can be now thought of as a farm house or a rural area.
4. Lets reinforce the image we created with some elements.
Here, we have reinforced the image of the ‘rural countryside’. It looks more welcoming and relaxing now. Through the elements, we are evoking a feeling of comfort in the users. The space clearly has got a personality now, much stronger than what we started with.
5. Lets bring people in the picture and make them use the space.
We see that this image has kids in the background having a bonfire. They are having fun and the space now ‘means’ something to them. It is detailed and designed. It has got a spatial definition: The area near the trees by the cottage. It also has a personal definition: A cozy farmhouse in the village.
The space can now be regarded as ‘Place’. It has become an multi-layered entity.
There you go. So, is a place basically random things thrown into ‘space’?
No. A place is more like a system where all components work together to reinforce the character of the space.
The components have to be in a harmony and hence, part of the overall ‘Design’.
Hope that helped.
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