Arranging Spaces : My Secret Space

“Creating spaces is not about building up walls but placing, arranging spaces in a way that all of them comes together as comfortable space to inhabit”

This was one of the major learning experiences during the three week long process to understand and create spaces for congregation, intimacy and solitude. This space was to be built inside a 6m deep pit as a “Secret Space”. The term as in secret space made me imagine a space of solitude and intimacy hidden by the space of congregation. Thus I ended up building only walls in the spaces in order to divide them.

After a discussion I realised that the space should connect to each other rather than be divided like rooms. To create these spaces I analysed how everyone would sit in the space of congregation to interact with each other, or how the space of intimacy gives the feel of comfort to talk to our close ones, or how the space of solitude would provide peace. I realized that the spaces can be connected to the each other and yet give privacy to the solitude and intimacy by the movement of the people which brings them in. For the space of the congregation I choose to shape it as a triangular step well like structures where the angles of the triangle would help to bring the people closer to each other for face to face discussions. For the space of intimacy I went on adding swings for one to have fun with friends. And to connect these spaces I created a spiral staircase which would go parallel to the edges of the triangle.

Then the swings were too near to the staircase and then were acting just a decorative element. The space around the triangular space was leaving negative voids and creating a feel of leftover neglected space. So to solve this I tried to move them to create a right angular triangle instead of an equilateral triangle which won’t waste the space.

Still the space of congregation felt like a destination, an enclosed space and to connect to the other spaces. After some iterations I opened up the space, meanwhile the space of intimacy also had greater changes from swings to smaller nooks.

Later on I realized that for intimacy one won’t face other to talk they would look at a scenery and have a talk so further I moved to create courtyard and balcony. And on the other hand,  a space of solitude was placed under the staircase which did have light. Where the idea of spiral triangular staircase came back in and provided a light to the space.

This way I learnt that no place should be leftover as a negative space of no use and solitude doesn’t mean a small room to sit in. The placement and movement of the people matter the most.

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