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Andrews 3 Carolyn Andrews 3000 4857 EVDA 621: Introduction to Design Theories Prof. Joshua Taron December 4, 2015

DEMOCRACY AND CONCEPT: A THEORY FOR SPATIAL EQUALITY


Andrews 4 Index:

Part 1: Preliminary Understanding Part 2: Introduction of Hypothesis Understanding the Experiential Qualities of Democracy Re-Examination the Hypothesis Part 3: Reasoning and Applications One: From the Heart Outwards Two: Division without Isolation Three: Absence of References to Symmetry and Axiality Four: Flow by Sightlines Preliminary Conclusion of Hypothesis Part 4: Revision of Understanding of Experiential Qualities of Democracy Overview of Application Strategy Part 5: Executing the Methodology One: From the Heart Outwards Two: Division without Isolation Three: Absence of References to Symmetry and Axiality Four: Flow by Sightlines Part 6: Evaluating the Experiential Qualities Experiential Qualities of Concept Space: Experiential Qualities of Circulation: Part 7: Conclusions

Appendix + References


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PART 1: PRELIMINARY UNDERSTANDING


Andrews 6 There are two equal and complimentary concepts at the heart of Hans Sharoun’s design for the Philharmonie Hall in Berlin. Sharoun declares that the primary idea for the design revolved around “music as the focal point,” (Jones, 178). A close examination of the building’s formal and ephemeral qualities reveals a second route concept that proves to be a deeper, more overarching trend in Sharoun’s designs. This concept is that of democracy. The two conceptual bases for the design exist harmoniously together, perfectly in balance within and without the structure, the emotion, and the operation of the concert hall. The concept of music at the centre evolved from the observation that the typical arrangement of audience around musicians, as happens spontaneously on streets and in plazas, is in a circular formation (Jones, 178). Sharoun assessed that humanity’s natural tendency to this form meant that it was the best way, acoustically and emotionally, to experience music. The emotional aspect of this notion bridges the gap to the second theme of democratic analogy. No class structure or hierarchy exists in the circle; no one has a better or worse vantage. It fulfills a spiritual desire in the human psyche to be equal, and therefore no distractions of inequality exist to detract from the experience of the sound. Sharoun was looking for a harmonious unity of three elements; space, music and humanity, and by centralizing the music, both figuratively and literally, spatial and social equality may be achieved. It is important to note that this principle works in tandem with a number of other design ideas, and together they achieve the democratic experience mentioned. Is it important that all principles are utilized together, or can the experience occur through the use of only one notion? Sharoun’s architecture speaks of a deep desire for democracy to pervade in every aspect of life. His experience in both World Wars, particularly living and working in Germany during the Second coloured his ideas of harmonious community and the structure of classes. His emphasis on community, humanity and their relationships to the city greatly affected the formal nature of what he designed. The Philharmonie is but one instance, albeit the most renown, and arguably successful, iteration of this conceptual foundation of design. The multiple viewpoints and angles that he employed in the realization of the “in the round” concert hall emphasize his democratic ideals. In direct comparison to this “democratic” design is the London Concert Hall, which immediately begins dividing up occupants by location of seat (ie. class) to separate coat rooms and bars and eventually boxes, which, although part of the same interior space, are completely isolated from every other seat. The Philharmonie on the other hand is such a complete community that switching to an empty seat in the front row a minute before the concert begins is


Andrews 7 straightforward and simple; even though the seats are arranged in twenty-three separate groups, they are not isolated from each other. It is key to note that the Philharmonie was completed just two years after the construction of the Berlin Wall, which came in close proximity to the site (only 200m to the east) , placing the building firmly in West Germany, and part of the new democracy. Senator Adolf Arndt declared that “it was democracy that commissioned [the] project,” and continued that the building exemplified the mandate “to create a new order for itself and establish a social state on the basis of free self-determination,” (Campbell, 159). The idea that space could create a feeling of safety and security, encompassing humanity as part of a larger whole was another point that Arndt emphasized in citing the Hall as not just a democratic beacon, but a “physical embodiment” of that policy (Campbell, 160). Sharoun speaks of the “community of listeners” with no “segregation of producers and consumers,” in much the same vein of democratic personification. Campbell argues that the concept succeeds only because of its simplicity in being translated to form. The literal centralization of the stage combined with the active movement of the circulation, articulating diverse movements that seem separate and yet conducive to the image of the whole, accurately acts out the performance of democracy as each individual plays their part and contributes to the cohesiveness of the production. It is a simplicity achieved by enormous complexity, the very notion that traditional democracy is built upon. How could these same principles be expanded upon to be applicable to a variety of spaces, not just a concert hall? Hans Sharoun claims that this is one of the rare instances in architecture where the “realized building fits in original conception,” (Barkhofen, 10). The building

exists as a

performative

architecture, with a “situated understanding that discovers… the unfounded conditions that actually prompt, animate, and conclude a building’s performances,” (Leatherbarrow). The symbiotic nature of what the building is and what the building

Figure 1: Seating Plan of the Philharmonie Showing the Symmetrical Seating Highlighted in Black, and the Asymmetrical Seating Highlighted in Grey

does come together to create an “event character” that accurately renders Sharoun’s conception. Sharoun’s initial idea to have the musical process


Andrews 8 take precedence in the building’s concept and design, “[surrounding] music that naturally occurs all around us,” as if simply putting walls around the circular group of listeners and musicians on the street, is realized through careful planning and strategic asymmetries(Grabow, 113). Much of the main seating is, in plan, symmetrical, as illustrated in FIG1., however this is disguised in three dimensions by the “absence of geometrical references to axiality,” (Grabow, 117). For acoustical reasons, Sharoun avoided any parallel planes within the hall, causing a “perceptual elusiveness” and ambiguity that is helpful in immersing oneself in the experience of the sound (Grabow, 117). This is one of the main design principles Sharoun uses that could be considered ‘democratic,’ and it would be interesting to see if this principle is transferable to other functions or programs, or if it is simply an aesthetic decision that the architect made that happened to endorse the experience of democracy within the space. Critically, most composers, producers and conductors who have used the space agree that the acoustics achieve excellent results, although many also concede that the impression of excellence is most certainly influenced by the visual impact of the unique space. Many of the critiques that originally plagued the hall’s design we abandoned upon comparison to the Berlin Wall, for its eccentricities existed in sharp contrast to the oppressiveness of the barrier. Other critiques continued, calling it a circus, for its tent-like roof structure, and lamenting its isolation in the never-completed Kulturforum. The building was never intended to sit alone on the site, and Sharoun had certainly planned for an interior-exterior transitional corridor, moving in and out of museums, gardens, plaza and libraries, surrounded by restaurants and commercial spaces. The erection of the Wall effectively scared away the smaller businesses and left the Philharmonie and its smaller Chamber Hall all but alone next to the Wall. The largest prevailing criticism for Sharoun’s work in general is his lack of attention to detail, for the construction process on his buildings was “often to be treated quite expediently,” (Jones, 223). He was much more concerned with the grand ideas of his concepts than the minute details; however it is clear that his conception for the Philharmonie was thoroughly considered in dynamic ways which affected every aspect of design from general form to angles of seats and clarity of signage. Ultimately, Sharoun’s notion of music as the focal point worked in harmony with the political concept of democracy and equality between humanity, space and music.


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PART 2: EXPERIENTIAL QUALITIES OF DEMOCRACY


Andrews 10 Introduction to Hypothesis The creation of spatial equality in architecture is a notion often overlooked in favour of hierarchy and dominance. In the Berlin Philharmonie, Hans Sharoun exemplified how spatial equality could become the dominant architectural feature in and of itself. Illustrating the notions of democracy in contrast with the politics of West Berlin at the time of the Berlin Wall, which was erected amidst the Philharmonie’s own construction, the principles instigated in the design created a timeless space of opportunity. This paper investigates the question of how the same democratic design principles used in the Philharmonie can be adapted to any functional program, and therefore be used to create spaces of social equality everywhere. The design principles utilized in the Philharmonie that make up the basis for its democratically minded spaces begin with the idea of a central concept, in this case, music, being literally put at the heart of the building. Following that, spaces surrounding this conceptual heart are divided into equally sized sections, separate but not isolated from each other. Next, planes are shifted and angles adjusted to eliminate any references to axes or symmetries. Finally, clear circulation is instigated using sightlines to ease wayfinding. Combined, these four principles create spaces of freedom and opportunity, where all occupants have the ability to be or become equal.


Andrews 11 Timeline and Process Each of the concepts are investigated through a series of diagrams seeking first to understand their relationship within the Berlin Philharmonie, and then how they might be applied to other programs. The concepts must be distilled to their simplest forms in order to be applicable to multiple (infinite) scenarios, and their interdependence must also be studied to understand if they can work separately or must be in tandem to achieve the desired results. Studying the plans, sections and sketches of the Philharmonie, the development of the concepts as well as their interactions and applications will be explored. In working through the process, it becomes clear that understanding how this and other buildings and functions have achieved democratic spaces is also important, and so a series of diagrams looking at precedents was also produced. It became apparent that it was possible that the results would show that the question could not be answered theoretically or hypothetically, as it is an experiential determinant, and may not be obvious from the diagrams produced if it had succeeded. By also investigating the experiential qualities of democratic spaces, the results are expected to be more conclusive. Following the investigations into the individual concepts and their interactions together, the application of these principles will be tested by selecting a series of functions and programs at different scales and complexities and attempting to create spaces that exemplify social and spatial equality. It is expected that the results of this methodology will show that any space can be democratic in nature, through the use of these principles. Prior to October 22, 2015, the individual investigations will have taken place, and their methodologies summed up into a clear procedure to follow for the final investigations into their possible applications. In the following two weeks, three functions/programs will be selected to follow the procedure. The final week will be spent analyzing the procedure against the ‘experiential’ diagrams, to determine the success or failure of the hypothesis.


Andrews 12 Understanding the Experiential Qualities of Democracy The question of How: How can the application of design principles be hypothetically evaluated for their experiential qualities? How can it be proven that a series of design principles executed in tandem can reliably produce democratic space? The following diagrams work through the idea that by comparing successful spaces of democracy and social equality with the results of the investigations into the individual design principles and how they work together, the success of those investigations can be gauged. Figure 2 looks at the spaces of democracy itself. Using aerial photographs of 10 different countries’ Parliament sites, an overlaid image was produced to examine the general layout of a democratic complex. A reference to an axis and a generally circular layout is identified from the photographs. From this diagram, it appears as if the third principle of Hans Sharoun’s democratic design, the absence of reference to symmetry and axiality, may not be a requirement for democratic design. However, it does enforce the notion that designing in-the-round may be a beneficial principle to creating spatial equality.


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Figure 2: The Shape of Democracy: An overlay of 10 Countries’ Parliament Complexes


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Figure 3: Experience of Situated Space

Figures 3 and 4 examine the ideas of symmetries and axes in the concert hall, looking to understand the feelings of communality experienced in the space as they are influenced by the planes and angles that define the hall. Similarly, images of the space, taken at all different spots in the hall are overlaid to understand the notion of equality in a space lacking symmetry. Figure 3 looks at how one seat in the audience is affected by the lack of axiality, while Figure 4 explored the overall feeling of the space, examined at every angle.

Figure 4: Experience of Overall Space


Andrews 15 Figure 5 and 6 also investigates the ideas of asymmetry by highlighting the dominant planes in each view and overlaying just those planes to reconstruct the hall. The resultant diagram shows the intricacy of the angles used.

Figure 5: Amalgamation of Planes in Multiple Views of Halls

Figure 6: Planes for Each View of the Hall


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Figure 7: Circulation through the Foyer

Figures 7 and 8 engage the same process as Figures 3 and 4, but looking instead at the foyer, to gain insight into the democratic feel of the circulation.

Figure 8: The Feel of the Circulation through the Space


Andrews 17 Figure 9 and 10 map out the vertical circulation through the building, to better understand how it is layed out to provide clear flow by orienting sightlines. The diagram clearly illustrates the prevelance of staircase over landing and walkway as the primary mode of circulation.

Figure 9: Overlay of Circulation Routes through the Foyer to Understand Orientation and Sightlines

Figure 10: Individual Views of Circulation through Foyer


Andrews 18 Figure 11 looks at how the four principles could come together to create the experience of democracy in space, by overlaying the diagrams of each principle. Democracy is an elusive quality, not easily explained with images, but this methodical representation of it may be adequate to describe the feelings of communality and equality within the space of the Berlin Philharmonie.

Figure 11: Experiential Quality of Democracy within the Berlin Philharmonie

Re-Examining the Hypothesis Following these investigations into the experiential qualities of democracy, it seems that the diagrams can be used to evaluate the success of a design using the prescribed principles. The next stage will apply this idea and test the diagrams of spatial design against the diagrams of spatial experience.


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PART 3: REASONING AND APPLICATION


Andrews 20 One: From the Heart Outward The first principle of democratic design utilized by Hans Sharoun in the Berlin Philharmonie is the idea of designing from the heart outwards, in-the-round. This means putting the concept at the very centre of the design and making all decisions based around it. It is important to note the difference between centralization of concept and promotion of importance of particular functions. For instance, the purpose of the Philharmonie was to be a concert hall; however the concept, the route element, was the idea of music. Similarly, if we were to look at any other functional program, there is an overarching concept that should be placed at the heart of the design. A research institution will serve as a prime example throughout this investigation to contrast with the concert hall. In a research institution, the primary concept is arguably, knowledge, for it is the place where knowledge is searched for and understood. Now we ask, what is the functional space that provides the conduit for that concept? In the concert hall, the music comes from the orchestra pit, and so that is the central element. In a research institution, the knowledge comes out of the laboratories, and so those are what must be centralized. From this central element and concept, the building can grow outwards, based on its relationships to other functional elements that support the overall concept. In a concert hall, it is the audience that responds to the music, listens to it and gives it reason for being. There is a give and take relationship between the two which makes it the logical function to surround the orchestra pit. Likewise, the research laboratory could not operate without access to existing knowledge, while attempting to contribute to the wealth of knowledge in the world. This brings to mind the functional element of a library, where knowledge is stored and accessed and added to constantly. So for this example, it is a library that should surround the laboratories. Continuing outwards, we consider what other functional elements are needed to allow music, knowledge, or whatever concept to function freely as the prime reasoning of the space. The music cannot be heard without a place for gathering before and after, a place for purchasing tickets, and spaces for organizing performances and events. A Foyer, a ticket booth, multiple offices are all needed. In a hierarchical scheme, these ‘support spaces’ seem unimportant in comparison to the concert hall itself, however it must be realized that the act of music making for human consumption would not be possible without these additional functional spaces, and so they are not unimportant or even less important, just smaller or further away from the primary concept. Applying this to the research institution as well, we see that their needs are similar,


Andrews 21 offices for management, lecture halls for sharing the knowledge gained, maybe a kitchen to fuel the researchers in their pursuit of knowledge. Each support space is vital to the central program and concept. Recognizing the democratic view needed in applying this notion allows every space, whether considered ‘support’ or ‘main’ to be equal in standing and therefore equally designed in detail and attention.


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Figure 12: From the Heart Outwards, Principles Taken from Concert Hall and Applied to Research Institution


Andrews 23 Two: Division without Isolation The second principle now comes into play, once the functional spaces have been situated in relation to the concept (music/knowledge etc.). To ensure the democratic perception of the spaces, no space should be substantially larger or smaller than any other space. Sharoun ensured that there were 23 approximately equal sized audience sections none of which were bigger than the 128 seats of the orchestra pit. This dichotomy between audience and performers gives the appearance of an even playing field, not a hungry mass of people smothering a small group, but many small groups participating in a discourse. This principle can be applied to any function. Let us again look at the research institution, where the library surrounds that laboratory. There is far more knowledge available in a library than a researcher can hope to produce, yet it should not feel like a hierarchy of prepossessed knowledge over what little steps might be coming out of the laboratory at any one time. By breaking the library up into sections, physically, not simply by genres running into each other on endless shelves, a kinder space is created, less daunting, more open to discourse and understanding. Yet again, the give and take between the two functions must be equal as they both support each other and exist for the other. The idea that division can occur to separate large spaces, such as a library or audience, into sections that are at once detached but not isolated from each other, pre-empts the creation of hierarchical spaces simply based on their size. Each section in a library is equal to the next, even if its contents vary vastly, just as each section of an audience is equally important to the stage, despite the class of people sitting in those seats. The mastery of Sharoun’s design for the audience sections is that although they are visibly separate, they are not isolated from each other. One cannot argue that the closer you sit to the stage, the better your view will be. The theory does not presuppose that there are not better places in the audience to sit, better sections of the library to have the books you need (the ones pertaining to your research would be better to be closer to your lab). This is a given. The idea is not to make it so that every space is equal, but so that every space has the chance to be equal, the chance to be better, in other words, Democracy rather than Socialism. The sections are separated, but not segregated or isolated, if you see a better seat in another section that is empty, you are free and able to get to that seat and improve your view and experience of the performance.


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Figure 13: Division without Isolation in Plan, Applying Principles to Research Laboratory from Concert Hall


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Figure 15: Division without Isolation in Section, Applying Principles to Research Laboratory from Concert Hall


Andrews 26 Three: Absence of Reference to Symmetry and Axiality The third principle, chronologically, was in question in a rather chicken-or-egg way, wherein the idea of circulation based on clear sight-lines seems the logical next point as it seems more in line with the previous two principles in terms of requirements for democratic design. The other principle, being the absence of references to symmetry or axes, seems at first glance to pertain more to the design aesthetic rather than the concept of democratic space. Further, one seems to depend on the other, for how can the problems of circulation be solved without knowing the orientations of the pieces to be connected? On closer inspection of the principle of shifting symmetries, it must be recognized that beyond an aesthetic interest, the axiality of the design contributes to its spatial equity. For Sharoun, the use of similar angles was to be avoided for acoustic reasons, leading to the idea of no two identical angles in the space. The result of this integration gave the audience a much more experiential quality while in the space. Without references to any sort of hierarchy, the individual is free to experience the space individually. This is the route of democracy, that all citizens are individuals equal in their own right. Through the dissolution of recognizable angles and patterns of symmetry, references and connotations about “individual place in the world” are abolished, to be replaced with individualistic experience within and of a space. Angles have taken on meaning in architecture, as much as architects try to assign new meanings to rational angles. For an example, 90° is the easiest, most economical and efficient angle to build. We have grown up in houses, gone to schools, shopped in stores all based off of this angle. There is nothing inherently interesting about it, as it is so mundane to be even worth noting. Yet it carries connotations, weather based on mundanity, tradition or a childhood memory. A teacher or parent giving a time-out tells a child to go sit in a corner by themselves. The 90° corner is the perfect space for time-out, for its mundanity alone. It is not a space for punishment, as a more acute angle might be, it is a space for existing, contemplating, being bored for educations sake. A wider angle would not work to the same extent, for it begins to lose its essence of place or space, becoming simply area, which is not nearly prescriptive enough for a time-out. The right angle is used almost exclusively in architecture, but for a few instances of 45° chamfered corners or protruding bay windows which serve primarily to date a construction rather than enhance its experiential qualities in any way.


Andrews 27 Here we see the democracy by which this principle works. Mixing angles, creating spaces in strange polygons destroys any previous connotations we may hold for a specific angle or the space it creates. Without pattern, too, no new meaning immediately emerges, leaving the viewer to simply exist and experience the space. By this reasoning, the third principle emerges clearly to be the symmetrical layout of a space. Pattern is a key element that needs addressing here. Sharoun had, in his Philharmonie design, certain acoustic requirements to meet. An investigation into the methods he used to skew the axes and angles leads to the conclusion that much of his decision making in the design was for variations of surfaces off of which sound would bounce. This method is not applicable to every function and program, and therefore a different method must be utilized to warp all reference to symmetry or axiality for any possible program type. Algorithmically, a pattern will eventually make itself clear, something the human mind is trained to seek out and pick up on, the realization of which soon destroys any experiential quality in a space, leaving only recognition of the pattern and process. Arbitrarily, patterns are randomized and hard to discern, so is that not the method needed? The human touch of manipulating planes in inexact ways creates the human experience of simply being in a space rather than recognizing a form. By systematizing this idea, does it become discernable, or can a complexity be derived from a simplistic approach? To investigate this, a series of diagrams were created using an alpha-numeric principle touted by David Gissen, wherein the plan of the Philharmonie was ‘translated’ into alphanumeric representation (Figure 17). This lead to a series of investigations into shifting justifications (Figures 18-20), which revealed the relationship between the asymmetry and symmetry on the interior and exterior. This was immediately recognized, but the connotations of this relationship were not directly obvious. A further investigation was needed to discern what these diagrams were communicating. To apply the principle of asymmetry to the example of the Research Institution a system had to be conceived of which could be replicated across functions. Points were pushed and pulled based on the Planar Diagram of the Hall (Figure 5) in both plan and section, to achieve new angles and asymmetries in each section.


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Figure 16: Seating Plan of the Philharmonie Showing the Symmetrical Seating Highlighted in Black, and the Asymmetrical Seating Highlighted in Grey


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Figure 17: Alphanumeric Representation of Berlin Philharmonic Floor Plan, Highlighting Symmetries and Asymmetries in the Seating Plan


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Figure 18: Shifting Symmetries to a Central Justification, Showing the Relationship Between Interior Layout and Exterior Envelope


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Figure 19: Shifting Symmetries Based on Justification, Showing the Relationship Between Interior Layout and Exterior Envelope


Andrews 32 Figure 21 and 22 looks at applying asymmetrical principles from Concert Hall to Research Institution. For Figure 21, the plan of the Philharmonie, combined with the elements of Figure 5 and 6 were used to apply the ideas to the Research institute, and come up with a rudimentary plan for it. For Figure 22, the Planes Diagram (Figure 5) was used as the guide for pushing and pulling the angles of the sections to break up symmetries and avoid reference to axes.

Figure 20: Applying Asymmetrical Principles from Concert Hall to Research Institution, in Plan.


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Figure 21: Applying Asymmetrical Principles from Concert Hall to Research Institution, in Section.


Andrews 34 Four: Flow by Sightlines The fourth and final principle of democratic design, as understood by Hans Sharoun’s Berlin Philharmonie, is the clear circulation and flow both internally and through the interior to the exterior. One might wonder how circulation can contribute to democratic design, for it seems more of a functional requirement than a conceptual element. However, it is the freedom and clarity inherent in good circulation that brings it into the realm of concept.

It has been

commented that the hall, which holds nearly twelve-hundred people can empty remarkably fast, in just two to three minutes. This unheard-of egress time is due primarily to the ease with which one can find their way outside. At the bottom of each flight of stairs, your sightline is oriented straight towards the next staircase you need to take. While the stairs are complex and numerous, they intertwine and readjust their orientation throughout the building to bring the occupants swiftly towards the foyer or exterior. Now that we have pushed and pulled the divided sections around the central concept to get rid of axial references, we can look at how those odd planes can connect in simplistic ways to provide clear and concise means of egress.

The primary elements of circulation are the

staircase and the corridor, with the landing acting as an intermediary in most cases. Sharoun minimizes the use of corridors in his design, focusing instead on the staircase and using the landing as the way-finding tool, physically manipulating the orientation of the landing to the next set of stairs so that it is easily identifiable. By determining Sharoun’s method of manipulating staircases, circulation was created in the research institution. This iteration is preliminary, and may need to be taken into 3D in order to fully understand the complexity of the circulation and orientation.


Andrews 35 Figure 23 and 24: Applying the Flow of Circulation based on Sightlines to the Research Laboratory Based on Diagram of Berlin Philharmonic’s Circulation (Figure 9) as well as circulation sketches done by Hans Sharoun.

Figure 22: Applying principles of Circulation to Plan View of Research Laboratory Based on Concert Hall


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Figure 23: Applying principles of Circulation to Section View of Research Laboratory Based on Concert Hall

Preliminary Conclusion of Hypothesis Through these investigations, it appears reasonable that the four principles of democratic design could be applied to any program or function to achieve socially equitable space.


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PART 4: APPLICATION STRATEGY


Andrews 38 Revision of Understanding of Experiential Qualities of Democracy Beginning this next phase of the project, it became obvious that improvements needed to be made to the circulation methodology as well as coming up with a clearer methodization of randomization for the asymmetry of references. Overview of Application Strategy Three programs to develop: To begin, three diverse and distinct programs with which to apply the concepts of democratic design, in addition to the Concert Hall and Research Laboratory, needed to be chosen. Key concepts and functional spaces were brainstormed for a series of programs narrowing it down to the most varied selection, to get the widest possible array of results. The first concepts dealt with Music and Knowledge, both expansive subjects with many possible interpretations. Keeping with the scale of concept, Healing (a medical centre), and Community (a retirement home) were chosen. The third additional concept proved more difficult to decide on. The idea for a High School seemed promising, but the concept of learning, as well as the functional spaces of libraries and classrooms seemed too similar to the Research Institution. Another idea, the idea of Consumption, in a Shopping Centre, seemed on closer examination, to already generally be laid out democratically. The central idea, consuming, takes form at the heart of the mall with a food court. Surrounding this is a multitude of stores of similar sizes, separated from each other but thoroughly connected and easy to move between at will. Notions of asymmetry and creative circulation could be utilized to improve on architectural interest and the success of the built environment, but the general ideas pre-exist in the architecture of shopping malls. It is interesting to see that the most consistently democratic spaces, as defined in this paper, are the ones of inherent capitalism. Coming up with a third concept that was in no way redundant to the others already being looked at proved difficult. A shift in scale was therefore employed, looking at a single family home, using techniques gained from the investigation into the Retirement Home, and translating the concept of Community to the one of Family.


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PART 5: EXECUTING THE METHODOLOGY


Andrews 40 One: From the Heart Outwards Medical Centre

(Health)

Taking the Medical Centre through the four concepts of democratic design, the central concept must first be designated. This is determined to be about Health or Wellness, which is placed at the heart of the design. What is the programmatic space that exemplifies Health within a medical centre, which function operates as an orchestra acts to an audience? A Medical Centre has a myriad of programmatic spaces, dependant on the type of centre it is, its size and focus. A hospital is a far more complex program than a single doctor’s office or clinic. For this iteration, a small surgical clinic is being considered, the principles being transferable to any scale. The primary functional spaces being considered are a waiting room, administrative and doctors’ offices, staff support areas, examination rooms, recovery rooms, preparatory areas and surgical rooms. The question of which space belongs at the centre appears to be answered by the relationship between the doctor and the patient, and so the spaces in which the doctor heals the patient belong at the heart of the architecture. Whether those particular spaces are doctor’s offices, exam rooms, operation rooms or something else can be argued, but for the sake of this exercise, the operation rooms will be placed at the centre, as the active place of healing, rather than the more passive spaces described by exam rooms or recovery suites. The patients occupy the spaces surrounding this operating theatre, as they inhabit the pre-operation areas and the post-operation areas, equally as important to the healing of the patient as the operation itself.


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Figure 24: From the Heart Outwards, Principles Applied to Medical Centre


Andrews 42 Retirement Home

(Community)

The central concept for a Retirement Home is really about fostering a community. A space should be available for Seniors to congregate and participate in communal events, a place with the same relationship between participants and event as between an audience and an orchestra. Therefore the functional space at the heart of the Retirement home should be a multi-purpose space which can cater to a variety of events for the community. What is the space that compliments the so-called Community Room? What is the space that exists in response to the community, but also necessary for the function of the community? Perhaps the question can be answered by looking at what happens in the community room, which would be events and gatherings for the sake of bringing people together. So the space supporting the Community Room is a space for the people being brought together, their living spaces. The other spaces necessary to the functioning of a retirement home include reception areas, support areas for staff needed for assisted living, and (perhaps) unique to this program, outdoor spaces for active living. All areas contribute equally to the concept of community making, including the spaces needed to support the Community Room itself (besides the conceptual support of surrounding the space with the people who create the community) such as a communal kitchen, porch and other facilities.


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Figure 25: From the Heart Outwards, Principles Applied to Retirement Home


Andrews 44 Single Family Residence

(Family)

At a smaller scale than the Retirement Home, a single residence is also a space for community, albeit the community made up by members of a family or household. Similarly, the concept of Family must be put centrally in the design. Ultimately, the functional space in a home that both exists for residents and could not function without residents is the kitchen. Surrounding this space, in much the same way as happens in the Retirement home, would be the spaces for the individual members of the household, the bedrooms.


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Figure 26: From the Heart Outwards, Principles Applied to Single Family Residence


Andrews 46 Two: Division without Isolation Now that the functional spaces have been determined and situated, the second principle of democratic design can be applied. The principle of division without isolation allows for a series of spaces devoid of hierarchy, through which one can move easily and freely. Medical Centre In a medical centre, spaces are easily divisible by required privacies and health management principles. Large open spaces are undesirable for the spread of contagions, and privacy is a key part of the confidentiality enjoyed by patients and their doctors. However, the divisions which emerge from these requirements are often exclusive and detrimental to flow. Divisions which are at once private and secure but easily navigable is a more complex problem in a medical centre than it would be in a concert hall. However the principles of security, safety and privacy are equally present in Research Institutions and Retirement Homes, therefore it is an issue in need of a solution for the application of this principle across the vast range of possible functional programs. It is imperative to address the issues of privacy within the principles of democratic design. Democracy becomes Communism when privacy is abolished, but division becomes segregation without freedom to move, and movement is limited without sight of the destination. Therefore, for a democratic design to retain privacy while allowing for free movement, a certain amount of information must be in-turn revealed and concealed in a manner controlled by the individual rather than any governance. Strategic uses of opaque and transparent materials could be utilized to give the appearance of access and openness without compromising privacy, as a possible solution. The particular solution must be tailored to each function, as any design must be hand-finished even when processes and algorithms are utilized. For this iteration, the recovery rooms and other areas requiring privacy will be approached in much the same way that tickets are sold for particular seats in an auditorium. The ticket gives the bearer access to the section in which they are seated; passing areas which they are equally capable of accessing but have no reason to do so, as those are not the areas where their ticket points to. The recovery rooms are all equally accessible to the patients, however they have no reason to pass through and invade the privacy of any other room on the way to their own. The key here, that separates this design principle from the existing layout of medical centres, is


Andrews 47 that each recovery room is visible- not the occupants or even the interior, but the space in which the room occupies is clearly defined and easily recognizable from anywhere within the architecture.

Figure 27: Division without Isolation, Applied to Medical Centre in Plan and Section


Andrews 48 Retirement Home A retirement home has a certain amount in common with a medical centre in terms of privacy requirements. By nature of being private residences within a community, there is a certain amount of transparency that goes on within each suite while remaining separate from the whole. Here, a middle ground is suggested between the private residence, where everyone has the right to a closed door, and the concept of community that is at the very heart of the Retirement home. For example, a sitting area outside of the main residence but belonging to the individual, where any member of the community might come uninvited and instigate a communal gathering, where the residence is clearly present and participating but not directly involved. It is a mediator between the freedom of democracy to go where one desires and the allowance for privacy to have a space to oneself. The ideals of community are more easily distinguishable in the designated common spaces, where spatial divisions do not need to be private, only symbolic of the lack of hierarchical spaces within a design, where all areas are sizably equal.


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Figure 28: Division without Isolation, Applied to Retirement Home in Plan and Section


Andrews 50 Single Family Residence Privacy in the home takes a slightly different angle, as the space is already generally private in that only the members of the household are regular inhabitants of the space. Even bedrooms are able to be more open in a private residence, doors left open when no one is occupying the space, and the ability to open a door and enter if permission is given. Spatial democracy in the home really comes from the equal treatment of all members of the household in terms of rights and privileges. Provided that all spaces are equally accessible to all members of the household, and no space is considered better than another (here, bedrooms become the biggest obstacle to a socially equitable household, as size, orientation and amenities of a bedroom drastically affect the perceived quality of a space and therefore the perceived position of a person in the household.) A democratic residence requires no master bedroom (the word master itself defies democracy) or space of special significance to just a portion of the inhabitants.


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Figure 29: Division without Isolation, Applied to Single Family Residence in Plan and Section


Andrews 52 Three: Absence of References to Symmetry and Axiality Reviewing the methodology utilized in the first iterations of applying the principle of asymmetries from a concert hall to a research institution, some further clarity is required to repeat the process ad-infinitum. A process which could also lead to the ability to analyze the experiential qualities of the space was also a requirement, which determined that a more threedimensional approach would be required. In each case study, the push and pull of surfaces in plan and section are based on the particular design intentions decided on by the designer. So long as the end result is comprised of spaces that deal with axial references in a way in which all spaces within the design are experientially equitable yet diverse and interesting, the principle has been properly employed and the result will be a democratic experience. It is important to remember that Hans Sharoun’s decision to not have any parallel planes was an acoustic decision, rather than an engineered move towards democracy. The resultant space was one which experientially implied equality; however this was a happy by-product of the original intention. Given this knowledge, designers can apply the same principles to get the desired outcome, or can approach the idea from a different design consideration (like acoustic nature or the diffusion of light within the space) to achieve the same experiential result. The following diagrams illustrate a possible scenario for each program’s spatial orientations, based on the principle, and approaching each program in a similar manner, although customized by their most important considerations. The plans and sections are extruded and intersected to create three-dimensional forms which are developed from Cartesian axes but contain very few remnants of those references. By highlighting the concept space in red, it is clear through these diagrams that the process used to create form without axial references needs to be supplemented by a decision driven process to merge or further divide or reshape certain spaces to function better in the design. In the case of the concept space, the process often ends up being too good at maintaining and exaggerating the “division without isolation” step, resulting in smaller areas of the primary concept space. It can also be seen in the diagram of the Concert Hall, that it also creates objectively more forms than exist in the original Philharmonie. Given this, a designer must make strategic decisions at this stage of the process, or a variation on this process that solves those issues should be developed.


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Figure 30: Asymmetries Applied to Concert Hall


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Figure 31: Asymmetries Applied to Medical Centre in Plan and Section


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Figure 32: Asymmetries Applied to Medical Centre


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Figure 33: Asymmetries Applied to Retirement Home in Plan and Section


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Figure 34: Asymmetries Applied to Retirement Home


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Figure 35: Asymmetries Applied to Single Family Residence in Plan and Section


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Figure 36: Asymmetries Applied to Single Family Residence


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Figure 37: Asymmetries Applied to Research Institution


Andrews 61 Four: Flow by Sightlines Now that the process for creating asymmetrical spaces is worked out, the process for defining circulation flow based on sightlines is more understandable and demonstrable. Using the plan and section drawings done by Hans Sharoun for the circulation throughout the Berlin Philharmonie, strategies are extrapolated to define circulation through each of the additional programs. The ideas of circulation throughout the Berlin Philharmonie deal with efficiently choreographing entrance and exit through an unknown space. Some of the other functions being looked at, such as the medical centre and to some extent the retirement home, deal with the same types of occupants who may not have experience of the space. Sharoun’s use of wayfinding, placing landings to orient with the next set of stairs, intuitively guides the users through the spaces of the Philharmonie. The same concept, of creating flow by clearly defining the path through sightlines, can be applied to any function to guide users through the unknown quickly and efficiently. A space like a single family residence deals with a slightly different matter. The residents of the home inhabit it every day, and are unlikely to get lost going from the front hall to their bedroom. This does not preclude the democracy of the circulation however. It becomes clear that in the case of familiarity with a space and the circulation through it, the means of circulation becomes all the more important to be a space of equality, as it affects the users on a daily basis. The complexity that is woven in to the circulation in a larger building, like the Concert Hall or Research Centre, need not be present in a simple home, however the orientation of the landings and their resultant sightlines provide a subconscious feel for the equality of the layout. Given this, it seems logical that the landing facing the bedrooms should face them all at equal distances and similar angles, so as not to preference one over another, while at the base of the staircase, the landing should face directly onto the exterior door to promote easy access and egress. A retirement home would deal with many of the same qualities of the single family home, being that it is a place where people live and will therefore come to know and understand the layout of the building and its circulation. However, a retirement home also faces several factors that complicate its circulation, from the simple size difference, to the acknowledgement that


Andrews 62 some of the residents may suffer from illnesses that could affect everything from their mental presence to their physical ability. This paper does not go into the use of elevators, although it is assumed that they would be required in many functions (indeed, the Philharmonie utilizes elevators, and so a design consideration may be drawn from that) so focus will be placed on the challenges stairs present to those who are still able to use them. Specifically, it is important here that a familiar environment may appear unfamiliar at times to a person suffering mental illness, and so the intuitive nature of the circulation should be utilized to guide those people through the building. By orienting landings and providing clear choices in direction, a person can quickly be lead to their destination. The importance of clear circulation becomes not simply a matter of equality, but also one of life-and-death in a medical centre. Doctors must be able to swiftly move from a staff area to an exam or emergency room, or a patient may run out of time. That doctor must be able to get to their patients just as quickly on their first day of work as their hundredth, and so the circulation cannot rely on familiarity for clarity. This is solved, as in all other cases, by sightlines to draw flow through the spaces. The following diagrams illustrate a single possible path through the buildings, from the Foyer area to the main Concept area and to one of the surrounding functional elements. Not all circulation paths are outlined or even actual stairs and landings detailed, only the orientation of the elements and how they would orient one towards the next element. As mentioned in the previous step, the forms developed from the process of extrusion and intersection, while successfully dividing the forms to destroy reference to axes or symmetry, create more program spaces than would logically be required for these functions. As a result, the delineation of circulation between the elements cannot be precise at this level of development, and can only give a sense of movement through the general forms. The principles from this step could easily be applied to a more developed formal system once a designer has intervened in the process or a new method for the non-axial three-dimensional creation is created.


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Figure 38: Circulation through a Concert Hall, From Foyer to Orchestra Pit to Audience and Back


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Figure 39: Circulation through a Research Institute, From Foyer to Laboratory to Library and Back


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Figure 40: Circulation through a Medical Centre, From Waiting Room to Operation Room to Post-Op and Back


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Figure 41: Circulation through a Retirement Home, From Foyer to Community Room to Living Suite and Back


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Figure 42: Circulation through a Single Family Residence, From Front Hall to Kitchen to Bedroom and Back


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Andrews 69

PART 6: EVALUATING EXPERIENTIAL QUALITIES


Andrews 70 Experiential Qualities of Concept Space: Due to the hypothetical nature of this project, a system for testing the hypothesis had to be conceived of. It was determined that the general experiential quality of each space could be determined to be successful or not by comparison to the objectively successful interior spaces of the Berlin Philharmonie. The comparison is done by directly overlaying elements from each scheme with Figure 4: Experience of Overall Space. This gave a notion of how the concepts were working together and if the full democratic effect had been achieved. Slightly more quantitatively, a similar exercise was done with Figure 5: Amalgamation of Planes in Multiple Views of Halls. By looking at the planes of the Philharmonie compared to the Planes of each function, it can be seen that they are acting in the same way, to shape the space in an asymmetrical way devoid of references to axes. If nothing else, this shows that the methodology used to create the new functional spaces worked to execute the concept. Realistically, the democratic nature of these spaces would be difficult to evaluate without physically inhabiting them. However, through these diagrams, its seems that if the methodology is correct in saying that these four principle of design can create democratic space, and if the diagrams prove that the methodology was accurately executed, that this process can indeed create space of social and spatial equality.


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Figure 43: Experiential Qualities of Concert Hall - Orchestra Pit

Figure 44: Experiential Qualities of Planes in Concert Hall - Orchestra Pit


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Figure 45: Experiential Qualities of Research Centre - Laboratory

Figure 46: Experiential Qualities of Planes in Research Centre - Laboratory


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Figure 47: Experiential Qualities of Medical Centre - Operation Room

Figure 48: Experiential Qualities of Planes in Medical Centre - Operation Room


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Figure 49: Experiential Qualities of Retirement Home - Community Room

Figure 50: Experiential Qualities of Planes of Retirement Home - Community Room


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Figure 51: Experiential Qualities of Single Family Home - Kitchen

Figure 52: Experiential Qualities of Planes of Single Family Home - Kitchen


Andrews 76 Experiential Qualities of Circulation: The same techniques were used to evaluate the qualities of circulation in the main foyer/entrance/front hall of a program as were used in evaluating the qualities of the concept spaces. Using the experiential qualities of the Berlin Philharmonie foyer as illustrated in Figure 7 as an overlaid comparison to the views of the circulation out of the foyer-areas in each program, it can be seen that the same qualities of space and democracy are achieved. By also comparing the images with Figure 9: Overlay of Circulation Routes through the Foyer to Understand Orientation and Sightlines, further insight into the success of this portion of the methodology was revealed. By further developing the last two steps, a greater understanding of the experiential qualities of the spaces they create can be achieved.


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Figure 53: Experiential Qualities of Circulation through Concert Hall

Figure 54: Experiential Quality of Planes through Concert Hall


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Figure 55: Experiential Qualities of Circulation through Research Institution

Figure 56: Experiential Qualities of Planes through a Research Institution


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Figure 57: Experiential Qualities of Circulation through a Medical Centre

Figure 58: Experiential Qualities of Planes through a Medical Centre


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Figure 59: Experiential Qualities of Circulation through a Retirement Home

Figure 60: Experiential Qualities of Planes through a Retirement Home


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Figure 61: Experiential Qualities of Circulation through Single Family Residence

Figure 62: Experiential Qualities of Planes in Single Family Residence


Andrews 82 Having completed the second iteration of diagrams, a number of conclusions can be drawn. The first two steps, designing from the concept outwards and division without isolation, are easily applicable to the schematic design phase of any project, applicable to any function or program. They act as organizers of space, outlining adjacencies and spatial scale and division. Step Three, dealing with implementing the absence of symmetry and references to axes, as well as Step Four, dealing with flow through the building by connecting sightlines, are less prescriptive in defining how these conceptual principles must be applied. A process has been utilized for this case study to explore the principles and determine whether or not the experiential quality of democracy can be replicated in any space. Other processes might be employed to achieve the same quality of spaces. As mentioned, further development is needed to define a process that creates spaces more closely linked to the original case study of the Berlin Philharmonie. Without validation that the process can reproduce a functional version of the Concert Hall, determining the next steps for any other program is hindered. An interesting consideration in the final set of experiential diagrams is that the Planes Diagram (Figure 55) the planes themselves are not as obvious as in the other diagrams. This is a result of the spaces and circulation corridors being laid out in the same way as in the Berlin Philharmonie, showing that the process by which Step Three and Four brought the two dimensional iterations into three dimensions was fairly accurate in reproducing the volumetric layout of the original concert hall, despite being over-zealous in its division of space. Given this success, it seems likely that the hypothesis is correct, and these four principles of design can be applied to any function or program to achieve a space of democratic experience.


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PART 7: DEMOCRACY IN ARCHITECTURE


Andrews 84 It has now been established that the four principles of democratic design pioneered by Hans Sharoun in the Berlin Philharmonie have the potential to be applied to any function or program to create a space of democracy. The question remains of why this is a direction that architecture should take, why is it democracy that space we should strive for? There are other dogmas of social organization that could be pursued to permeate architectural design, from socialism, to communism, to capitalism, all of which could be said to have their benefits to social equality. This paper suggests that democracy is the most equitable social form to endeavour for, as it provides a certain amount of flexibility and freedom within its structure for the individuality of the people to be expressed, without favouring certain individuals above others. Patrik Schumacher suggests that, “works of architecture aim towards a framing role in everyday life, facilitating social purposes that are set by the architecture’s clients/users rather than by the architects,” (Schumacher, 190). The framework of architecture described is one that can make a difference in people’s lives, in terms of standards of living and equality, without predetermining the life that they will lead. It is about setting up a system to follow that allows for “continuous adaptation with its environment,” in a way that is not directly determined by the system itself (Schumacher, 192). That system is responsive to the differences between sites, programs and the human elements that will interact with the architecture. Democracy is a good model for this system, though certainly not the only acceptable model for it to be successful. Democracy’s orientation towards the individual, being a system built upon the presence and participation of the masses, is ideal for creating a partially automated design system that is not overdetermined by the designer but has the capability to be shaped by the individual and their unique needs. The four design principles outlined within this paper provide the basis for that “automated” system of designing democratic space. It is important to note that although the process is pre-determined, much of the execution of the methodology requires a designer to make a decision that will further the direction of the architecture. The initial steps, designing from the heart outwards and division without isolation, are slightly more prescribed than the absences of symmetries or flow determined by sightlines. These characteristics of the four principles result in a system imbued with flexibility, and the ability to express more than just the concept of democracy and really delve into the central concepts defined by the program.


Andrews 85 From the beginning of Hans Sharoun’s design process, the central concept was music, and he physically centralized that idea in his building. His design process was never about democracy outright, it was a quality that emerged from decisions around special division and orientation derived from that central concept. The two concepts, one intentional, the other accidental, work in harmony to create equality between humanity, space and music. In this way, all architecture can embody the harmony of concepts, democracy paired with anything; community, knowledge, family, health. Decisions about layouts and orientations can be made to serve the central concept, while the ephemerality of democratic design is embedded in the process by which those decisions are made. The use of democratic design principles enforces the idea that “architecture’s autonomy within society does not imply indifference to society,” but that it is a “necessary mode of contribution to society with sufficient flexibility and sophistication,” (Schumacher, 190). Schumacher declares a need for a systemization of the design process, and the democratic principles eschewed by Sharoun provide the avenue to create that system in a method which would improve the quality and equality of space. The process is one which utilizes a series of conditions which play together to instrumentalize a result; social equality through spatial equality. By beginning with a central concept and surrounding it with equally sized spaces that exist divided but not isolated, then skewing axes to give the experience of individualism in a crowd while providing clear circulation to move through that crowd, the experience of democratic space can be achieved, as it was in the Berlin Philharmonie. The experience of the individual within a crowd of equal individuals, of being a part of a discussion rather than being a receptor for speech, the freedom of movement to improve one’s place in the world, all democratic principles that are exemplified in the experiential qualities of the Concert Hall. Why is the experience of space that architects should strive for that of democracy? Architects have the ability and responsibility to create the framework within which humanity lives, and so they have the ability and responsibility to create change and influence society in the most positive manner they are capable of. While there are other methods for the organization of society, democracy has proven itself to be the most desired as well as the most successful. For no other reason than the fact that humanity is capable of successful democracy, architects should strive for a design process that exemplifies the experience of democracy and improves the equality of the human race.


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Andrews 87

APPENDIX + REFERENCES


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Figure 63: Appendix 1: Reference Mapping


Andrews 89 References Campbell, Hugh. Arq (London, England): 'the Bright Edifice of Community': Politics and Performance in Hans Scharoun's Berlin Philharmonie. 11 Vol. Emap Business Communications, 06/01/2007. Web. 18 Sep. 2015. Grabow, Stephen, and Kent F. Spreckelmeyer. The Architecture of Use: Aesthetics and Function in Architectural Design. Print. Jones, Peter Blundell. Hans Scharoun. London: Phaidon, 1995. Print. Leatherbarrow, David. Architecture Oriented Otherwise. New York: Princeton Architectural, 2009. Print. Schumacher, Patrik. "Openness through Closure." The Autopoiesis of Architecture: A New Framework for Architecture. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Print. Wang, Wilfried. Hans Scharoun: Philharmonie, Berlin 1956-1963. TuĚˆbingen: Wasmuth Verlag, 2013. Print.

Democracy and Concept: A Theory for Spatial Equality  

Mini Thesis for EVDS 621 Design Theory course at the University of Calgary, Fall 2015

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