Space and Architecture
Living in an urban environment the space around us will to some degree have been designed. It could be a highly considered use of space that effectively supports and enhances the life of the people who interact with it. Alternatively, poorly designed or adapted space can restrict human activity and compromise the way people live.
The use of space becomes more complex because people aren’t one homogenous group. Instead, in terms of space we have different preferences, and needs, all of which makes the work of the architect even more challenging. Increasing concerns for our environment and growing populations add further impetus to find effective ways to use space to the benefit of all citizens.
On a recent trip to Copenhagen, bioniciconic’s John Jackson visited the Danish Architecture Centre to look at their exhibition: Art of Many and the Right to Space. This was originally the 2016 Danish contribution to the Venice Biennale of Architecture.
The exhibition is running until 1 October 2017, and provides an exceptional insight to mindset of Danish architects who strive to deliver architecture that benefits the whole community.
As John explains, “With over 130 models on show and a compelling video by Professor Jan Gehl it was possible to gain a real appreciation for the value the Danish architects place on approaching their discipline from a truly human centric perspective. Ironically, when a city is well designed it becomes popular and that creates demand. In turn this pushes up prices for property and I was encouraged that the need for sufficient affordable housing was fully acknowledged as a way to ensure continued social inclusion in cities.”
The exhibition illustrated a depth of understanding that single building architecture isn’t sufficient to create effective cities. Instead it fully embraces the need to consider whole neighbourhoods, in essence the immediate environment the city dweller interacts with most frequently.
This thinking has a real appeal, after all your neighbourhood is the part of the city where you spend the most time, and have the greatest requirements for spaces to cater for your various needs. For example, these could be work, leisure, social, community and wellbeing activities.
This type of forward thinking architecture helps enhance the quality of life for the people living a neighbourhood, and how they want to live in their neighbourhood. Cities have always been people places and putting people at the heart of architectural practice can only be good news for the city itself.
Finally, from his visit John share his lasting impression from the Exhibition, “I learnt how Copenhagen, as a city, has put in place a strategy to be “the best city in the world for people” and how this extends to the whole city and not just the city centre. This seems a logical approach to support the sustainable evolution of the city in a way that benefits its citizens.” John Jackson.
If you can’t make it to the Exhibition before it ends, it’s worth taking a look at the Danish Architecture Centre website for further information.
The following gallery includes a small selection of the models on display at the exhibition: