Architectural Narrative through Spatial Sequencing
Whitley, Marc Geoffrey
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Architecture is temporal. It is rooted in time and place and subject to the elements and actors that embody its space. As actors, we are active participants in this dynamic, whether consciously or subconsciously. Spatial comprehension is internalized through vision and augmented by touch – the body, hands, feet, and aural experiences. Within this paradigm, we perceive the passage of time and space as an infinite stream of consciousness, or narrative of events, successively linked through memory. Bernard Tschumi describes this sequence as “space, event, movement”, a fragmentary slice within the infinitely repeating sequence of our experiences. Simply existing in the world weaves us into this sequence. Out of the infinite, architects define space and develop a physical narrative through which actors engage and meaning is derived. Our syntax is the walls, ceilings, floors, solids and voids. And like writing or in film, architectural significance is based upon the juxtaposition and combination of sequential “chapters”. Although this quality is inherent to architecture, architects often undervalue supporting content for critical passages. “Programs fall into three categories: those that are indifferent to the spatial sequences, those that reinforce it, and those that work obliquely or against it” (Tschumi 159). Most architecture seems to follow the first order, or reinforce spatial sequences where it is convenient. Are we not concerned with the journey from point A to point be B?
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