Space and height within architecture Essay

Now in a world where skyscrapers are common within any city, defining the skyline. Where its a competition to see who can create tallest building, then who can beat that record. The exterior height of a building has less impact on how we feel as tall building are now apart of our everyday lives. we have less fear when approaching it, we are more confident. Now more emphasis of height is in the interior of the architecture, how we use height and scale, alongside many other factors for example light and shadow, to create an atmosphere within a space. Such creativity can create a journey through the architecture, filled with an assortment of emotions.

For the 2018 Biennale Archilettura, the Swiss pavilion draws attention to an architecture that is hidden-in-plain sight the interior of contemporary housing. Though the expected use of height and scale the pavilion; the doors, windows and power outlets might be much larger or significantly smaller.

“We embraced the image’s inability to show scale, dimension, depth and spatial adjacency, so what we end up with is a continuous landscape that shifts in scale”

-van der Ploeg, Matthew (2018) ",

Being only white in colour the scale is the only variable within the design, giving you a new perspective. A household object that once showed no significance or importance to you, now twice your size. Reflecting on how you now appreciate it . As you crawl through small openings entering into a large open space, a new perspective can be appreciated. It almost feels larger that what it actually is due to dramatic change of height and scale between the two spaces.

“ We want to take the visitors on a house tour, which offers you an exaggerated architectural sensibility through which you see the peculiarities of your own home from the perspective of an outsider. we very much hope that this opens up new ways of reflecting on the role the apartments’ interior shell plays in shipping our lives and identities”

-Svizzera 240: house tour design team (2018)",

Designed for both for the animals and visitors, my spotted hyena enclosure for Bamburgh Zoo is designed to create a pleasant atmosphere filled with adventure. To help me create this enjoyable atmosphere I have used an array of different spaces but mostly focusing on the the vertical element of the space. With heights ranging between 1-11metres. The design is an adventure offering a variety of experiences. From the low, dark, cramped tunnels to the large, open space area-like enclosure. Both journeys for the visitors and the hyenas are both very different yet similar.

The journey for the visitor starts in the central hub where their they are offered two different paths to view the hyenas; from above in the cable car circling the entire zoo, passing over the hyenas enclosure. Viewing from a birds eye perspective they will see how they hunt, hide and run within their packs. Otherwise the visitors can remain on the same level as the hyenas first through the large pane of glass onto the hyenas outdoor enclosure, giving the visitors a sense of control and security. However through the glass the visitors will be faces with a large 11m tall building which encloses the hyena indoor living quarters. Although designed to look natural and hilltop-like, allowing both the the hyenas and visitors to be more accepting of the building, for some visitors this can be intimidating. Leading from the central the central hub are two paths. As you follow the paths leading from the central hub you are guided down towards the indoor enclosure.

The indoor enclosure includes two indoor viewing dens and private den for the animals. The lower level of the enclosure is a dark , cold space with low ceilings. It provides private dens for the hyenas and also a work space and staff room for the keeper, referring back to staff being confined to lower ground, low ceiling environments. There is also small viewing den which holds the hyenas ramp entrance into the much larger, monumental second storey viewing den. The visitors can also enter this space by the staircase next to the lower level den, which leads to a balcony viewing area in the centre of upper ground enclosure. Within this den the building overpowers both the animals and the humans. Starting with a comfortable height of 4m above ground the sloped roof soon rises to staggering height of 11m. Like in the Biennale Swiss Pavilion, the dramatic change of height between the two enclosures the spaces emit two very different atmospheres. Although dark and cold the low ceiling in the lower level enclosure can provide a sense security. Contrasting to open space within larger upper level enclosure, which offers a sense of adventure and new experiences. With the higgledy-piggledy ramp lining the walls, acting as track for the Hyenas, the constant changing in height encourages their adventure, excitable personalities fill the space. With the visitors confined to a balcony 4m above above ground they still feeling inferior to the hyenas on higher ground circling around them. Led up to the highest point of the enclosure the hyenas are faced with a narrow 1m high opening, offering two ramps which the hyenas can travel around and enter the outdoor enclosure. Help supporting the ramps are small tunnels only half a metre hight, causing the hyenas to crouch and crawl. the long tunnels leading into then can either make the hyenas feel anxious within the unexplored, unacquainted space, or can make for safe and secure and the tunnel hugs them.

The overall experience for both the visitors and the hyenas is that they are offered a range of different viewpoint at a range of different heights all portraying different emotions and experiences.

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