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ARCHITECTURE AND THE SENSORIAL EXPERIENCE:

A Comparative Study of Social Spaces in Nairobi


UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI
COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE AND ENGINEERING
SCHOOL OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING SCIENCE
BAR 613: RESEARCH THESIS
MWOKA MARK MILU
B02/35507/2010
TUTOR: MR. kAHARE MIANO
©2016

II
"What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others remains and is immortal"
- Albert Pike -

III
Declaration

This thesis is my original work and has not been presented in any other University or Institution for the purpose
of awarding a degree to the best of my knowledge. This thesis is submitted in partial fulfilment of the examination
requirements for the award of the Bachelor of Architecture degree,
in the Department of Architecture and Building Science at The University of Nairobi.

Author: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mwoka Mark Milu B02/35507/2010

Supervisor: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mr. Kahare Miano

Year Master: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Prof. Tom Anyamba

Chairman: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Arch. Musau Kimeu

IV
To Mama

V
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I would like to thank my Greatest Educator of all: God. It is through You that I chose this path and I fervently hope that I am doing and
will do the work that You have planned for me. Amen.

My sincere thanks to my supervisor Mr. Kahare Miano for your time, enthusiasm and guidance. Whilst your counsel cannot be ignored,
it is your eloquence and insurmountable amount of knowledge that will surely be missed. In particular, I thank you for instilling in me your
wise words; 'One cannot take ownership of something they are not in love with.' That particular remark will not be forgotten.

To Arch. Musau for your valuable advice and relentless lectures that always triggered a desire for success. To the Year Master Prof.
Anyamba, for your arbitrary walk-ins that always created an environment of humour; Arch. Kigara, for your straightforward approach
and your emphasis on experiential design; Arch. Liku, for answering my incessant phone calls even when you were on your sabbatical;
Prof. Rukwaro, for your direction; Arch. Mwakulomba, for your insights and to the entire Department of Architecture. Thank you.

To the management and staff of The Village Market and Kenyatta Market, for giving me the consent to carry out my study and for
your collaboration during my field visits, I extend my thanks to you.

I would also like to recognise my friends in and out of the University, for helping me stay sane throughout these years. I greatly value
your friendship and the good times we shared.

To my family, your impact during my journey is worth more than I can express on paper. However, with a few words, I would like to
thank my mother, Elizabeth, my queen, for the unconditional love and affection you have shown me throughout my life. My father,
James, for your support and encouragement. Twin sister, Meggie, for your hard work and dedication which has been a source of
motivation. Little sister, Wanjiru, for your perfectionist demeanour which inspires all and my little brother James Jr. for your exuberant
presence which is a source of joy to all. I love you all.

And finally, to coffee, music and my pets for keeping me company through all those sleepless nights. Thank you.

VI
TABLE OF CONTENTS 1.1 Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.2 Background of Study. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
1.3 Problem Statement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
1.4 Research Objectives. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
1.5 Research Questions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
1.6 Justification of Study. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
1.7 Significance of Study. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
1.8 Scope and Limitations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
1.9 Methodology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
CHAPTER 01 1.10 Definition of Terms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Introduction 1.11 Chapter Breakdown. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

2.1 Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
2.2 Theory of Phenomenology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
2.3 Influence of Phenomenology in Architectural Discourse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
2.4 Experience and Perception in Architecture. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
2.5 Sensorial Approach to Architecture. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
2.6 Ocular-centrism in Modern Architecture. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
2.7 Synaesthetic Architecture. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
2.8 Architecture of the Seven Senses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
2.8.1 Sight. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
CHAPTER 02 2.8.2 Hearing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Literature Review 2.8.3 Touch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

VII
TABLE OF CONTENTS 2.8.4 Smell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
2.8.5 Taste. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
2.8.6 Muscle and Bone. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
2.9 Architectural Elements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
2.9.1 Colour. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
2.9.2 Light and Shadow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
2.9.3 Materiality and Time. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
2.9.4 Proportion and Scale. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
2.9.5 Mass and Volume. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
2.9.6 Sound. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
2.9.7 Silence. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
CHAPTER 02 2.9.8 Detail. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Literature Review 2.10 Summary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

3.1 Research Purpose. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42


3.2 Research Strategy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
3.3 Research Variables. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
3.4 Time Horizon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
3.5 Sampling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
3.6 Data Sources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
3.6.1 Primary Data Sources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
3.6.2 Secondary Data Sources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
CHAPTER 03 3.7 Assumptions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Research Methodology 3.8 Data Analysis and Processing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
VIII
TABLE OF CONTENTS 4.1 Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
4.2 The Village Market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
4.2.1 Background Information. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
4.2.2 Form and Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
4.3 Kenyatta Market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
4.3.1 Background Information. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
4.3.2 Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
4.4 Colour. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
4.4.1 Case I: The Village Market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
4.4.2 Case II: Kenyatta Market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
4.5 Light and Shadow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
4.5.1 Case I: The Village Market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
4.5.2 Case II: Kenyatta Market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
4.6 Materiality. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
4.6.1 Case I: The Village Market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
4.6.2 Case II: Kenyatta Market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
4.7 Proportion and Scale. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
4.7.1 Case I: The Village Market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
4.7.2 Case II: Kenyatta Market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
4.8 Mass and Volume. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
4.8.1 Case I: The Village Market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
4.8.2 Case II: Kenyatta Market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
CHAPTER 04 4.9 Detail. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Research Findings 4.9.1 Case I: The Village Market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
IX
TABLE OF CONTENTS 4.9.2 Case II: Kenyatta Market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
4.10 Sound. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
4.10.1 Case I: The Village Market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
4.10.2 Case II: Kenyatta Market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
4.11 Le Therme Vals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
4.11.1 Background Information. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
4.11.2 Form and Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
4.11.3 Colour. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
4.11.4 Light and Shadow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
4.11.5 Materiality. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
4.11.6 Proportion and Scale. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
4.11.7 Mass and Volume. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
4.11.8 Detail. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
4.11.9 Sound. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
4.12 Summary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
4.13 Church of the Light. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
4.13.1 Background Information. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
4.13.2 Form and Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
4.13.3 Colour. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
4.13.4 Light and Shadow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
4.13.5 Materiality. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
4.13.6 Proportion and Scale. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
CHAPTER 04 4.13.7 Mass and Volume. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Research Findings 4.13.8 Detail. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
X
4.13.9 Sound. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
4.14 Summary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

5.1 Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
5.2 Summary of Findings and Conclusions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
CHAPTER 05 5.3 Recommendations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
Conclusions 5.3.1 Recommendations for Accentuating the Experience of Social Spaces. . . . . . . . . . . . 84
+ Recommendations 5.3.2 Recommendations for Future Research. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85

REFERENCE LIST............................................................................... XIII

APPENDIX........................................................................................ XVII

XI
LIST OF FIGURES
Fig 1.01: Durban International Convention Centre. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Fig 2.23: St. Benedict Chapel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Fig 1.02: Bruder Klaus Field Chapel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Fig 2.24: Entrance wall of Brion cemetery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Fig 1.03: Couvette de La Tourette. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Fig 2.25: Façade detail of Brion cemetery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Fig 1.04: House with shining Wall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Fig 2.26: Interior of Villa Rotonda. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Fig 1.05: Kiasma Museum of Modern Art. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fig 2.27: Golden proportion in Taj Mahal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Fig 1.06: Salk Institute. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Fig 2.28: Universita Luigi Bocconi. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Fig 1.07: Organisation of study infographic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Fig 2.29: Narrow entry point. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Fig 2.30: Wooden screen with speakers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Fig 2.31: South Aisle of the abbey of Pontigny. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Fig 2.01: Jewish Museum in Berlin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Fig 2.32: Concrete door handle of Kolumba Art Museum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Fig 2.02: Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Fig 2.33: Entrance of Leça Swimming Pool. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Fig 2.03: Arabesque on gateway arch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Fig 2.04: Perception of architecture infographic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Fig 2.05: Windhover Contemplative Centre. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Fig 3.01: Church of Our Lady of the Coronation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Fig 2.06: The Treachery of Images. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Fig 3.02: Forum Building. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Fig 2.07: Ekko Installation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Fig 3.03: Islamic Cemetery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Fig 2.08: Infographic Time-line showing different Theories. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Fig 3.04: Pallazo Querini Stampalia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Fig 2.09: Sight. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Fig 3.05: North Transept in Cistercian Abbey. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Fig 2.10: Louis Kahn at Kimbell Art Museum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Fig 2.11: Hearing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Fig 2.12: Voûte de l'église Saint Séverin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Fig 4.01: Food court area. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Fig 2.13: Touch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Fig 4.02: Water feature in food court. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Fig 2.14: Ningbo Art Museum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Fig 4.03: Parking and main entrance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Fig 2.15: Smell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Fig 4.04: Nyama choma [Roasted meat] section. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Fig 2.16: Taste. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Fig 4.05: Multi-coloured wall and fountain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Fig 2.17: Muscle and Bone. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Fig 4.06: Coloured wall in food court. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Fig 2.18: Blue courtyard wall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Fig 4.07: Atrium with coloured wall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Fig 2.19: Detailing of water spout and roof terrace. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 Fig 4.08: Secondary entrance flanked by coloured walls. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Fig 2.20: D. E Shaw & Co. Offices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Fig 4.09: Courtyard area adorned with colours. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Fig 2.21: Colour wheel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Fig 4.10: Artificial cove lighting along walkways. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Fig 2.22: First Unitarian Church of Rochester. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Fig 4.11: Open food court area. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
XII
LIST OF FIGURES
Fig 4.12: Inadequate lighting along paths. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Fig 4.43: Tinted skylights. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .69
Fig 4.13: Dark congested section. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Fig 4.44: Natural lighting through facade. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Fig 4.14: Natural materials in project. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Fig 4.45: Vals Quartzite. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
Fig 4.15: Ceramic tile flooring in food court. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Fig 4.46: Indoor bath. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
Fig 4.16: Natural stone cladding. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Fig 4.47: Cubic volumes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
Fig 4.17: Painted and bare masonry walls. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Fig 4.48: Fragmented mass. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
Fig 4.18: Concrete paving slabs along paths. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Fig 4.49: Skylight detailed drawing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .72
Fig 4.19: Makeshift materials. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Fig 4.50: Skylight assembly. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
Fig 4.20: High ceilings along walkways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Fig 4.51: Scale of the spaces. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Fig 4.21: Different spatial height within food court. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Fig 4.52: Chapel exterior. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Fig 4.22: Arched opening. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Fig 4.53: Sunday school exterior. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Fig 4.23: Varying ceiling heights. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Fig 4.54: Sunday school interior. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Fig 4.24: Narrow walkway. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Fig 4.55: Light slit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Fig 4.25: Organic grand staircase. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Fig 4.56: Chapel nave. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
Fig 4.26: Punctured mass above secondary entrance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Fig 4.57: Angled wall at entrance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Fig 4.27: Low lying mass. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Fig 4.58: Sunday school exterior. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77
Fig 4.28: Punctured wall in food court. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Fig 4.59: Chapel court. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Fig 4.29: Sculpture within food court. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Fig 4.60: Wall and beam junction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
Fig 4.30: Cladding detail on entrance wall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Fig 4.61: Sunday school. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .78
Fig 4.31: Wooden placard for signage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
Fig 4.32: Detailing using makeshift wooden pieces. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
Fig 4.33: Grand space through high ceilings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Fig 5.01: St. Henry’s Ecumenical Art Chapel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
Fig 4.34: Water Feature. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Fig 5.02: Brookfield Place. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
Fig 4.35: Courtyard Area. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Fig 4.36: Exterior facade. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 LIST OF tables
Fig 4.37: Bath interior. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Fig 4.38: Outdoor baths. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Table 4.01: Comparative analysis of user experiences. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Fig 4.39: Context of baths. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Table 4.02: Descriptive analysis of architectural elements used to sensualise
Fig 4.40: Red changing room. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 experience. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Fig 4.41: Stone colours. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Fig 4.42: Light fissures through the roof. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
XIII
ABSTRACT

Throughout my years of architectural education, I have become increasingly aware that we are connected with
architecture. At the core of architecture lies the will to strengthen and heighten the awareness of our existence.

This thesis acts as a platform to reunite all architectural spaces to their sensuality by exploring design that evokes
experiences enriched by application of the senses. Precedence is set by Juhani Pallasmaa on his book, The Eyes of the
Skin on 7 architectural senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste, muscle and bone.

The objectives of this study are to establish how colour, light, shadow, material, proportion, scale, mass, volume, detail
and sound can induce a holistic experience in social spaces and to determine the experiences of the users based on the
different manifestations of these elements. The last objective is to develop recommendations on how these elements
can be used to induce experiences in social spaces.

Based on the literature review and research findings, the author concluded and recommended that colour can be used
to accentuate space through its intensities and tones. In relation to light and shadow, the counterpoint of these two
elements can also be used to create a spatial experience. The author also suggests the use of tactile materials and the
incidence of weathering which implies the age and history of the material.

In addition, the elements of scale and proportion should be used to create visual harmony. Different proportioning
systems and formulas should be implemented to create pleasant works of architecture. The mass and volume of a
building should also be considered by designers and articulated through solids and voids. Designers should enrich the
experience of a space by exposing the tectonic elements and details of a space which open up the haptic realm. Lastly,
acoustics should as well be used to invite people into a space allowing them to linger while also masking out external
noise to focus the user’s attention to the qualities of the space.

XIV
CHAPTER 01
I n t ro d u ct i o n
1.1 INTRODUCTION

Architecture is an important part of our environment and is responsible for our experiences,
decisions and more importantly, memories. We experience architecture even before we hear the
word through touching, hearing, tasting, smelling, moving and crawling through space. The built
form can be mediated and ‘felt’ through all the senses simultaneously. The human body possesses
the five senses of: sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste. The summation of these senses results in
the quality we call ‘perception’. These are the biological tools that equip the mind and enable a
person to experience space and appreciate design. Through the eye we experience line, form,
colour, through touch we experience texture and shape etc. In other words, sensory stimulation is
the only means of achieving spatial comprehension. Therefore, we can assume that this stimulation
takes place due to the physical qualities of a space.

Architect Steven Holl [2007] suggests, “. . . the conception of architecture could enter a paradigm
shift towards a more open-ended position informed by a phenomenological interrogation. Rather
than the inherited dualism, the experience of interrelating body, brain and world could frame
and provide for a new position.” He affirms that looking beyond the conceptual dimensions of
form and function and considering the connection between the body and built spaces, we can
open up new architectural possibilities.

The human experience should be the primary concern when designing any space. These spaces
have the potential to propagate a holistic experience through careful consideration of the basic
design elements. The spaces can also enhance the user’s behavioural aspects. It is my belief that
the user experience and its ramifications is significant and bears weight to both students and
> FIG 1.01: Durban International Convention Centre
architects alike and requires due attention at all times.
Image showing articulation and manipulation of design elements such as mate-
riality, lighting and colour in a social setting to propagate a holistic experience.

Source: Author, August 3rd, 2014.

2
1.2 BACKGROUND STUDY

Architectural space is often considered in opposition to or as complement to its envelope. However,


the essence lies in the relationship between people and space as much as in the relations of
the spaces themselves. It adds to pure space its attributes that convey different values to people
either in forms or symbols. Architectural phenomenology suggests the science of pure phenomena
[Husselr, 1917]. It dwells on the fact that we experience architecture with all our senses and it is
therefore essential to connect the human body with space [Lefebvre, 1991].

Space is both physical and mental. Norberg-Schulz [1980] argues for a language that offers
perception and experience through stimulation of the bodily senses through the return of critical
architectural elements lost during the plight of modern architecture. In Juhani Pallasmaa’s journal,
The Geometry of Feeling [1996], he posits that as architects we should not primarily design
buildings as physical objects but as feelings and images of people who live in them and that the
effect of architecture stems from more or less common images and basic feelings connected with
the building.

Architecture through tectonics, bridges this gap between the abstractness of phenomenology
and the physical environment. Architect Gottfried Semper states that it is mainly concerned with
materiality and construction design where less attention is paid to the functional dimensions [Beim,
2004]. Architecture is perceptible in a physical-sensual manner. Without the physical qualities of
> FIG 1.02: bruder klaus field chapel by peter zumthor space, we cannot perceive and vice versa. Basically, the experience of a person is responsive to
The architect is quoted to have designed this building so as to achieve a sensuous
connection with life that goes beyond aspects of form and construction.
the building attributes. Holl [2006] states that colour, light and shadow, proportion, scale, detail
and sound are some of these attributes that can accentuate the experience of a space. In his
Source: Retrieved on July 13th, 2015 at 1519hrs from
https://www.flickr.com/photos/schroeer-heiermann/6713342529 book, House: Black Swan Theory, he adds mass, volume [solids and voids] and materiality. These
are the basic elements of space generation and are responsible for the emotions and moods
generated as well as the overall form and expression of a space. Therefore, to achieve heightened
spatial expectations in architectural spaces, a coherence between the fundamental construction
elements, the senses and perception cannot be overlooked.
3
1.3 PROBLEM STATEMENT

For the last several decades, architecture has constantly been redefined by what is considered
striking or avant-garde. Throughout this transformation, user experience has become secondary to
form. As a result, the visual has been emphasised to the detriment of other senses resulting in the
loss of the sensual essence and therefore the authenticity of the built environment. This encourages
users to embrace sterile environments which are result of poor design or an inadequate grasp
of tectonics. Architectural environments rather, should offer a holistic experience, be emotionally
durable and uplifting.

Additionally, rapid globalisation in conjunction with new construction technologies has resulted
in flat buildings which have digressed from the engagement of all the senses to those that only
seek building aesthetics. However, this should not be the case. Architecture has the ability to
serve a deeper function by enhancing the spatial environment through a sensorial approach.
The main concern should not be the building but rather the opposite, that which is not built and
which is hardly artefactual.

Therefore, human experience is an important driver to the success of any space. Without ignoring
the known program generators of form, function and comfort, this study seeks to contribute in
accentuating the relationship between social spaces and the users by implementing a design
approach that caters for a holistic experience rather than that which is biased to the visual
experience, and in so doing, negate sterile environments.
> FIG 1.03: couvette de la tourette by le corbusier
The architect employs a vocabulary of simplicity and clarity of design elements
to evoke experiences in the chapel using rough reinforced concrete, slit openings
and glazed voids.

Source: Retrieved on July 13th, 2015 at 1545hrs from http://www.wecollage.


com/collages/world-consortium-music-1

4
1.4 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

I. To establish how the elements of colour, light, shadow, material, proportion, scale, mass,
volume, detail and sound can be used to induce a holistic experience in social spaces.
II. To determine the experiences of the users based on the different manifestations of
colour, light, shadow, material, proportion, scale, mass, volume, detail and sound.
III. To develop recommendations on how colour, light, shadow, material, proportion, scale,
mass, volume, detail and sound can be used to accentuate the experience of social spaces.
IV. To generate a base for further academic studies on the sensorial experience of
architecture.

1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

I. How can the elements of colour, light, shadow, material, proportion, scale, mass,
volume, detail and sound be used to induce a holistic experience in social spaces?
II. What are the experiences of the users based on the different manifestations of colour,
light, shadow, material, proportion, scale, mass, volume, detail and sound?
> FIG 1.04: house with shining wall by furumoto
architect associates co. III. What recommendations can be developed on how colour, light, shadow, material,
This project known as the House with Shining Walls was conceived through the
articulation of openings in order to creates dramatic spaces filled with light and
shadows. proportion, scale, mass, volume, detail and sound can be used to accentuate the
Source: Retrieved on July 15th, 2015 at 1541hrs from experience of social spaces?
http://www.archello.com/en/project/house-shining-wall

5
1.6 JUSTIFICATION OF STUDY

It is the author's contention that the current global situation including the local context has seen
the emergence of buildings which do not empathise with the user’s expectations and which focus
solely on the visual. This devaluation of the built environment delivers mundane spaces devoid of
experience. There is need to revise the situation as is and promote spaces that serve the function
of creating a unique experience by manipulating moods and promote uplifting environments. The
elements of colour, light, shadow, material, proportion, scale, mass, volume, detail and sound
need to be addressed in order to foster buildings which respond further than the occupant’s
basic need of shelter.

1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

There is need to re-evaluate the physicalities that impact on the sensorial in order to develop a
set of criteria that can contribute to a sensual environment that is perceived through all the senses,
as opposed to those that only evoke the visual aspect. These ethnographic techniques can create
parameters that will be beneficial to designers and students alike on the aspects of the built
environment which can be manipulated to create varied spatial experiences. In addition, building
occupants will be able to experience buildings which contribute to their emotional well-being.
> FIG 1.05: kiasma museum of contemporary art by
steven holl architects
The building is inspired by the shape of the landscape with a curved wall providing
a dramatic backdrop for the exhibition of contemporary art.

Source: Retrieved on July 13th, 2015 at 1611hrs from


https://copenhagen2009.wordpress.com/2009/07/18/finland/kiasma-art-muse-
um-001/

6
1.8 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS

This study shows emphasis on phenomenology in architecture with a contextual focus on social
spaces in Nairobi. The extensive nature of the subject is the reason the author decided to limit
the study to social spaces [marketplaces/shopping complexes] in Nairobi.

There are many philosophical schools of thought concerning the human senses pertaining to the
five classic senses and some alluding to seven architectural senses. This study combines the two
variations to conclude seven architectural senses. Also, as there are numerous architectural elements,
the study will be limited to colour, light, shadow, material, proportion, scale, mass, volume, detail
and sound due to time constraints.

Due to security reasons, the case studies were limited to certain areas of the complexes as
prescribed by the respective management personnel.

The desk studies are limited to projects whereby the architects have explicitly declared the human
senses as the main program generators behind their projects.

1.9 methodology

The main body of the research comprises of the literature review and analysis of precedents
and case studies. The literature review was used to identify the relevant positions and theoretical
> FIG 1.06: salk institute by Louis Kahn
Image showing Kahn’s imaginative use of natural lighting to create a monumental approaches of various scholars relating to the senses and how the fundamental architectural
presence in the research facility.
elements can be used to trigger responses while the latter analysed and critiqued examples of
Source: Retrieved September 7th, 2015 at 2201hrs from social spaces based on constants. Through this research, a basis for a sensorial experience will
http://www.juzaphoto.com/galleria.php?t=111875&l=en
be established.

7
1.10 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Tectonics - Study of structure and construction and the ontological effect of built forms or the relationship of building parts and compositions and how we

are affected by their quality

Ethnographic – Based on the study of individual people and cultures

Experiential - Based on conscious experience from a subjective point of view

Cognitive – Of or relating to mental processes related to knowledge

Ontology - Study of the nature of being

Ocular-centric – The privileging of vision over the other senses

Tactile - Of or pertaining to the sense of touch

Haptic – Based on the sense of touch

Olfactory – Of or pertaining to the sense of smell

Auditory – Of or pertaining to the sense of hearing

Aural - Of or pertaining to the sense of hearing

Hegemony - Social or cultural predominance

Gestalt – An organised whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts

Sensorial/Sensual – Of or relating to the senses or the power of sensation

Penumbra – Shaded outer region of a shadow


8
1.11 organisation of study
Chapter I
INTRODUCTION
The study is organised as follows:
Background study, research,
questions, scope, limitations.
CHAPTER I gives a background of the study and contextualises the current situation. The
author puts forward the problem statement which is the desensitisation of spaces due to lack
Chapter ii of empathetical design procedures and the objectives and questions guiding the research are
Literature REVIEW outlined with a view of the justification, significance and scope of the study.
Identifying variables for a multi-
sensory experiential approach. CHAPTER II focuses on literature gathered concerning the study of the human senses and
the architectural elements that can be exploited to promote better suited cases for the user’s
experiential needs. The main aim of this chapter is to generate information on the variables
Chapter III
Methodology through the eyes of different scholars throughout time. These variables will then be used to carry
Purpose, strategy, variables, time, out the analysis of the chosen case studies.
horizon, sampling, data sources.
CHAPTER III defines the research methodology which will create a platform for the study of
the given cases in order to answer the mentioned research questions. A description of the data
Chapter Iv collection, presentation and analytical techniques are mentioned.
Research findings
Analysis of data collected in field.
CHAPTER IV indicates the area where the author will conduct his fieldwork against the constants
conceived in the literature. This is followed by a comparative and descriptive analysis of the cases
and a summary of the experiential aspects as established in the cases.
Chapter v
Conclusions & CHAPTER V concludes the study by stating a summary of the conclusions determined in the
recommendations
analysis of the fieldwork cases and recommendations that can be applied as well as opportunities
Conclusions drawn from findings.
for further studies.

> FIG 1.07: organisation of study infographic


Source: Author, July 19th, 2015.
9