Architectonic space owes its definition to the mass of the wall, which bounds the space from without. Open floor plans By contrast the space that we experience and relate to ourselves gets its definition from the activity of our various faculties, which determine its boundaries from within.14
The exterior form of architecture is shaped by the same barriers that create interiors within the shell of a building. By contrast, the human experience of space always emanates from within ourselves. Space is both the physical area of enclosure (as defined by walls, a distant form of second skin) and the volume of interior space as we perceive it. Van der Laan also proposes space as an opposition of metaphorical voids (what we carve out of natural space when we build) and metaphorical solids (the way we experience that built space): .âWe must imagine that architectonic space that comes into being artificially between walls as a sort of emptiness in relation to natural space.â He continues: “Moreover the two space-images are opposite in nature. [.] By building an enclosure bounded by walls, we may take away the completeness of natural space.â15 Built space, then, reduces the fullness of space that exists in the natural world. This is space viewed empty of human occupancy. Viewed from the inside out, however, the solid and void are reversed:
Parallel with this conception we must look upon the human space that we experience around us as a fullness surrounded by emptiness; in this case natural space is an emptiness in relation to a space that we experience as fullness not like a bubble in water, but like a drop of water in the air.
Thus with space-formation the fullness surrounds an emptiness, whereas with space-experience it stands in the midst of an emptiness.16
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