Atrium, Rem Koolhaas
Architectural history has overlooked the significance of one of its oldest and most fundamental elements. Present at the origins of architecture and characteristically essential to almost any contemporary design (over two floors), the atrium consistently finds itself in the lapse of history’s judgment - perhaps due to its consistent presence. The atrium has ranged from the hole in primitive shelters for smoke management, to its introduction as a proper space in the Roman domus and finally manifesting itself at its most extravagant in Portman’s hotel designs. However, as the atrium acts as the auspice for all vertical openings in a building, it is at once the space - in the form of the courtyard - that protects primitive tribes from surrounding threats - and elsewhere, the mezzanine, allowing the viewer to see the stage in the theatre for the upper class. But it is this same variability that makes the atrium everywhere and nowhere, causing its most important contribution to architecture and society to go unnoticed. As the central space in the building in which people gather, the atrium is an element of collectivity that has played a core historical role, as a catalyst or antagonist, in the urban development of mankind through social interaction.
Hachem, Hasan, "Atrium" (2015). Architecture Senior Theses. 283.
Syracuse School of Architecture 2015
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