This theoretical thesis work develops a scenario for vertical living by weighting the private sphere of the individual against the public space in and around high rise buildings. The tactile transition between the two is indicated as interspace. By initially reviewing the occurrence of interspace in the traditionally horizontal structured neighbourhood as designed by Herman Hertzberger, the thesis wants to further explore whether a mixed urban spatial programme can be developed in a vertical manner without resolving into an anonymous environment. The thesis focusses on the appearance of interspace within a social, structural and ecological context and the influence on human emotion and behaviour.
Initially, the thesis halts at the structuralist architecture of Herman Hertzberger. More specifically because of his considerable success with small-scale urban projects such as the Diagoonwoningen in Delft as well as the successful application of his methods in bigger projects such as Centraal Beheer in Apeldoorn. Both examples test the Modernist visions of CIAM against the actual mode of living post-war. Modernism has proven to bring great benefits to the life of the ordinary individual but misinterpretation of its visions has lead to an equal number of failed realisations, mostly in high-density housing projects. The aim is to re-examine the socio-psychological impact of architecture in Hertzberger’s projects. In the second part of the thesis, the theoretical analysis will be critically compared against the contemporary circumstances as we find them at the Gerolds Area in Zürich, which is the building site of the parallel developed practical design exercise that completes the thesis.
Bloem Jolien, Hochschule Luzern - Departement Technik & Architektur