Space

In-between Space Between City and Architecture; Nature and Architecture

In-between Space Created by Substantial Rainfall

Due to seasonal winds, the eastern area of the Eurasian continent experiences frequent heavy rainfall and a significant level of precipitation throughout the year. In contrast, the west receives less than 1,000mm of rain per year. This disparity in rainfall prompted different architectural methods and approaches between the two areas. Since the first Mesopotamian civilisation, western civilisations chose to build buildings by constructing walls, whereas eastern civilisations faced difficulties when employing heavy walls in construction as the terrain would become soft and unstable during the rainy season. This eventually led to those in the east to select lightweight materials such as wood in construction. In the west, large windows were typically not used because large windows tended to make the buildings susceptible to collapse. In contrast, as wood was primarily used in structures in the east, architecture generally adopted pillars at their centre. As there was no need for walls to support the roof between these pillars, large windows could be used. In this way, eastern architecture naturally places greater emphasis upon views of the surrounding landscape than western architecture, and to command an outside view from the inside became a defining feature of eastern architecture. In order to keep wooden pillars dry during the wetter seasons, the eaves were elongated, and (wooden porches) were built below. As a result, spaces were created beneath the eaves. The spaces below the eaves possess an intermediary character due to their semi-exterior and semi-interior property. Due to (main hall), one can then relax by the outside the window. As the also functions as a space in which one can (after taking off one’s shoes) shelter from the rain, it can be considered as an interior space. However, as it also allows one to enjoy the outside air, it is also an exterior space. With both exterior and interior qualities, this space is an ambiguous space. A comparable space in contemporary architecture would be the balcony or veranda. As Korea became rapidly urbanised in the 1970s, the country had to develop urban residential quarters. The new residential form created out of reinforced concrete and elevators to face this challenge was the apartment block. At that time, the floor plan for each household in an apartment block replicated the ›-shaped form of a . The yard covered by the roof became the living room, and the outside the windows became the balcony. This became the norm for approximately 20 years. A change, however, was set in motion as beds were introduced into these apartments.

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