Architects talk a lot about SPACE. As in "the universe beyond our planet's atmosphere"? Not exactly. More like the absence of matter right here on Earth. In architecture, space is a fundamental idea describing a continuous area or expanse that is free, available, or unoccupied. Ever walked into a cathedral, stepped to the edge of a cliff, or stood at the top of a skyscraper and gasped? You felt the power of space!
When architects design walls, floors, stairs, and ceilings, what they also are doing is using those elements as tools to organize the space in between — that is, the space where people are. Space can be shaped in almost any way you can imagine it, for example, long like a tunnel, vast like an open field, or compressed like a small box. The way that architects design it in both size and configuration affects how people can or can't access parts of a building, can do different activities there, or how they feel when they enter it.
Sometimes architects look more at what is not there than at what is. Check out how architecture students and faculty use surfaces and materials to define the space in between...
Image 1 > Design entry for the re-ligare institute competition.
Image 2 > A proposal for development at the international particle physics research institute, CERN.
Image 3 - 5 > Design for a Swiss watchmaker's studio nestled within a hillside.