Sunday, April 18, 2010


In a recent interview for the lives of spaces exhibition,Hugh Campbell curator of the Venice Biennale describes the meaning of the exhibition title,

‘The lives of spaces, partly because it suggests a plurality, a multiplicity to any space, and we talked about the phases of the life of any given space: from out of the mind’s eye into this kind of magical process of design, where it starts to become something, somewhere, and then its life in construction, its life in use, and another layer beyond that where a space takes on another symbolic life....reinvention’1

Space is open-ended, never existing on its own but only in relation to other elements. Defining space as a contained specific volume is difficult as it continuously flows through a building relative to the observer’s movements.


Spaces are in a constant state of flux. The idealistic vision of the architect is in tension

‘with the exotic circus of real life’.2

The architects control over a design is terminated once it enters into the reality of the city. Spaces are never in isolation but exist in relation to each other. Experiences of one space flows into the next. Edmund Bacon in one of his first essays ‘Awareness of Space as Experience‘ illustrates that

‘There is an intellectual parallel of deepening perception which is based on becoming connected with larger and larger systems.’3


Finding it difficult to confine a space let us explore what contributions alter its perception.

Space is informed by, enclosure, light, approach, scale, time and position. Altering just one of these conditions transforms the observer’s dialogue. Rafael MoneoAn intense life and consummate work’

‘any construction that has been able to survive the passage of time is by definition an ongoing transformation’4

Irrespective of the procession of time, centuries or a fleeting moment, how a space is perceived changes due to uncontrollable external factors. The concept model begins to explore this theme. The space inside the model is constant; however its perception differs each time it is viewed. Each window into the space has a different scale, the light changes, the window size is different. We can see that this space can be described in a series of differ ways


William Curtis in ‘Mental Maps and social landscape’ about the work of Enric Miralles identified a clear intention of the architect,

‘The idea is that the new building should bring out these latent forces (geographical or historical traces-contours river beds, road, building) and bring them to a point of high tension while also encouraging interactions between people’5

Miralles identified that spaces are never in isolation. They call on their relationships with the site, time, scale and history. Designing, Miralles never viewed his work as ‘his intervention’ but as urban acupuncture. Seeing his work as a contribution to the whole and never ‘falling prey to its perimeter’6

‘ dissolve the building into its environment, losing any relationship with the perimeter’ 7

Stephen Shores, ‘ American Surfaces’ exhibition explores the power of the collection as opposed to an autonomous image to describe a space. Exploring the quality and value of a single image to describe.


The dart line can be seen as a collection of individual spaces along the east coast. Developed in the past as separate settlements, independent and to an extent culturally different from each other. With the introduction of the dart line, these series of town lands became connected to each other. A series a space once separated now formed a longitudinal single space. As you travel along the dart line these series of spaces now influence the whole. Each contributing to the perception of the next sequential space, a series of relative space.


The purpose of this investigation to propose a new way of capturing and exhibiting architectural information. If architectural photography is about capturing the maximum amount of information, should the way they are collated and captured describe something more than just the instanteous image. Moreover the possibility of describing the experience of the building, the sequences, the architectural intent in terms of movement, time and light. Architectural photography to translate how a building influences you, the sequence you see the images is vital to your understanding of the architects concept. A series of spatial photographs combined together to illustrate a holistic narrative, to reflect the tensions between the real and the intention. Examining a building not as a isolated collection of volumes but a single space.


Capturing time and movement in the translation of spaces into the photographic medium has influenced the choice of subject . The train station, a space influenced almost solely by external events. Your experience of that space is always altered by the quantity of people travelling in, out , resting, waiting and working in that space. A volume always constant but the space it captures always in a constant state of flux. I have chosen to examine Heuston station. To photograph the space in a way that will inform the observer more than a single image. Using photography to capture the image that can never be seen and therefore the most informative.


Why is a plan or section more informative than a picture of a single space? They allows us to see, if only in 2dimensional way, a series of spaces at once. We can see the building in series. The type of space we enter into before and after. We are able to contrast one space with the next. With the power of scale, we can approximately gain an appreciation of time and distance. This type of approach is how I wish to develop my original concept. With Photoshop, the view that is impossible to see can be formed. A space is never experienced in isolation, so therefore should never be viewed in isolation. Therefore i propose taking a section through the Heuston Staion constructed out of images. Translating all the photographic information of each space and arranging them in series. Being able to understand the scale of the space both before and after. As an architect draws a series of spaces in section to examine their relation, I hope to construct the reality of this section. A view impossible to see but capable of translating sequential special experience.


1 Campbell,H, Martin-McAuliffe,S, Ward, B, Weadic, N (Ed.) (2008) The Lives of Spaces:IAF and UCD

2 Campbell,H, Martin-McAuliffe,S, Ward, B, Weadic, N (Ed.) (2008) The Lives of Spaces:IAF and UCD

3 Bacon, E.(1967) Design of cities.London:Thames and Hudson

4 Moneno, R(2009)’Enric Miralles ‘An intense life and consumate work’’El Croquis Editorial. EMBT 2000-2009 El Croquis no. 144. Madrid:El Croquis Editorial

5 Curtis, W(2009)’Enric Miralles ‘Mental Maps and Social landscape ’’El Croquis Editorial. EMBT 2000-2009 El Croquis no. 144. Madrid:El Croquis Editorial

6 Moneno, R(2009)’Enric Miralles ‘An intense life and consumate work’’El Croquis Editorial. EMBT 2000-2009 El Croquis no. 144

7 Moneno, R(2009)’Enric Miralles ‘An intense life and consumate work’’El Croquis Editorial. EMBT 2000-2009 El Croquis no. 144

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