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  • 1 Marcel Breuer Doctoral School, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Pécs, , Boszorkány u. 2, H-7624 Pécs, , Hungary
  • | 2 Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Pécs, , Boszorkány u. 2, H-7624 Pécs, , Hungary
  • | 3 School of Architecture, China Central Academy of Fine Arts, , Huajiadinan Str. 8 Chaoyang, Beijing, , China
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Abstract

With the development of economic globalization and the information age, architecture has gradually become a kind of seal of politics, capital and culture, and is divorced from the spirit and life experience of the existing places in the region. Therefore, the field of architecture constantly seeks new research paradigm from the interdisciplinary perspective and reconsiders the creative activities of architecture. From the late last century, with the introduction of architecture by postmodern philosophy, semiotics, geographical psychology, phenomenology and cultural anthropology, there has been a cross-research between architecture and narratology. The recent research hopes to conduct an in-depth analysis of the theory of architectural spatial narrative and its development in the context of complex disciplines, and to research spatial narrative as a design methodology for architecture.

Abstract

With the development of economic globalization and the information age, architecture has gradually become a kind of seal of politics, capital and culture, and is divorced from the spirit and life experience of the existing places in the region. Therefore, the field of architecture constantly seeks new research paradigm from the interdisciplinary perspective and reconsiders the creative activities of architecture. From the late last century, with the introduction of architecture by postmodern philosophy, semiotics, geographical psychology, phenomenology and cultural anthropology, there has been a cross-research between architecture and narratology. The recent research hopes to conduct an in-depth analysis of the theory of architectural spatial narrative and its development in the context of complex disciplines, and to research spatial narrative as a design methodology for architecture.

1 Introduction

Narrative, as an artistic expression, has developed into a more complete system in literature, painting, film and other artistic fields. Space narrative as a kind of architectural design methodology is in the process of exploring and establishing its theoretical significance.

It was in the 1960s, with Robert Venturi [1], as the landmark starting point, that architects began to reflect and widely discuss the significance in which modernism has created uninteresting stereotype spaces in the living environments of different cultures, regions and ethnic groups. Among many theories that reflect on the connotation of space, space narrative provides a new research direction as a multidisciplinary cross-disciplinary architecture theory. Aldo Rossi [2], Christopher Alexander [3], Christian Norberg-Schulz [4], Kenneth Frampton [5], Wang Shu [6], etc., all of them focus on spatial connotation from the critical perspective of modernism.

The modern space production pays attention to the relation of material function and ignores the relation of social and cultural emotion. However, consumers and users in the information age are more enthusiastic about the diversified emotional experience under the aesthetic vision of daily life. At the same time, the functional paradigm of modern architecture is insufficient to measure or interpret the complex relationship and semantic characteristics of pioneer architecture. Spatial narrative, as a design program, is a progress of postmodernist architectural design. Thinking about the significance of architecture beyond the noumenon, modern architecture is made to jump out of the "mire of concrete and mortar" by means of spatial narration, and a series of severe and complex problems are responded to in the contemporary context.

2 Methodology

2.1 Architectural modernology

No design is born out of thin air, it has its past and reasons. Based on the original site, space and environment understanding and understanding, become a good design of the fundamental. The Japanese Wajiro Kon first proposed the “modernology” [7] that is present life research. Modernology investigates not only people's daily behavior, but also at what they owned, wore and more. In recent years, modernology has been widely applied in architectural design, bringing the floating concept of architectural design and urban construction to life, so that more people can experience and participate in it. Architects reverse reason all kinds of information, present and apply events, key words and life values in the design. Spatial narrative can present the different social cultures, the spirit and state of human civilization in history [8].

2.2 Architectural narratology

Narrative, as a basic way of human cognition of the world and social communication, has accompanied the development of human society. Although the relationship between architecture and narrative can be traced back to the construction of the Acropolis of Athens in ancient Greece, the research data shows: In the 1960s, the deconstruction, influenced by the trend of structuralism, was the beginning of narrative intervention architecture. Narrative as a design method was first applied to the creation of modern architecture in the early 1980s.

Bernard Tschumi and Nigel Coates, who taught at AA School in London, took the lead in guiding the interdisciplinary exploration and practice of narrative between architecture and literature, film, and performance space. The book published by the AA School [9] in 1983 shows the student work guided by Tschumi and Coates: Drawing on the narrative strategy, a series of architectural works of comic style are designed through the translation of spatial experience and spatial time dimension.

In 1983 Nigel Coates and his students formed a research group according to Guy Debord [10]. They borrowed the thoughts and strategies of situationist international, mapping a city image that blends reality with ideal. In 2012 Nigel Coates [11] further systematically illustrate the relationship between narrative and architecture.

Bernard Tschumi [12], proposed the importance of events, procedures and violence to architecture. This book discusses whether there is narratology in architecture, expounds the intersection between architecture and literature as well as discourse symbols, and discusses the spatial narration of social culture. This provided theoretical guidance for the subsequent project of Parc de la Villette (1983).

Rem Koolhaas's graduation design [13] was the beginning of his architectural narrative. Rem Koolhaas [14] integrated the knowledge of society, politics, culture, consumption and other aspects with architecture, which became a classic narrative text of architectural theory. Koolhaas brought the performance of film narrative into architectural design.

Sophia Psarara [15] from the University of Michigan in the United States, compares the relationship between narrative and architecture in a systematic way, and clarifies the value of narrative for architecture.

The architects represented by Benjamin Stinson [16], Zhang Nan [17], Zhang Yonghe [18] and Lu Shaoming [19] expounded the significance of spatial narrative from the cultural appeal of spatial experience and emotional resonance. The architects represented by Christian Norberg-Schulz [20], Liu Jiakun [21], Daniel Libeskind [22] and Wang Shu [23], expounded the spatial narrative from the perspective of architectural region, history and memory. The architects, represented by Steven Holl and Peter Zumthor [24], express the narrative characteristics from the aspects of site, materials and construction.

Thus it can be seen that interdisciplinary and architectural practice has promoted the rapid development of spatial narrative theory. In architecture, spatial narrative presents a theoretical crossover with phenomenology, semiotics, imaging and other specialties and in the design expression presents the multi-media, multi-angle. The spatial narrative theory also pays attention to the regional nature of architecture, the spirit of place, the spatial experience and other aspects.

3 A spatial narrative case of architecture

Take a conceptual plan of urban public space designed by the author as an example to illustrate the application and function of spatial narrative in design. The project is located in Beijing's Zhongguancun Science and Technology Park, China's “Silicon Valley” Zhongguancun overpass No. 1 is a “mouth-shaped” pedestrian bridge with a total length of 328 m and a main bridge of 5–7 m wide. There are a total of 3 walking stairs, 8 escalators, and 4 barrier-free straight stairs, which can meet the traffic needs in multiple directions (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Zhongguancun overpass No. 1, Beijing, China (Photo by X. Kang)

Citation: Pollack Periodica 2021; 10.1556/606.2021.00398

3.1 The history of Zhongguancun

The development history of Zhongguancun is also very similar to Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley was an orchard in 1914, and Zhongguancun, then, was a desolate graveyard. In the 1950s, an idea from Stanford University made Silicon Valley what it is today. In the 1980s, due to the transformation of industry-university-research achievements of Tsinghua University, Peking University and other universities, the graveyard “Zhongguancun” developed into today's Zhongguancun. There is only one Zhongguancun in China and only one Silicon Valley in the United States. They are both products of the times and cannot be duplicated.

Zhongguancun has gone through the development period of Electronic Street, Beijing New Technology Industry Development Test Area, Zhongguancun Science Park, Zhongguancun National Independent Innovation Demonstration Zone, etc., and has become a banner of innovation and development in China and a world-renowned high-tech park.

3.2 History and environmental analysis of Zhongguancun overpass No. 1

Due to the fact that many electronic product malls gather on both sides of the road in Zhongguancun area, colleges and universities are clustered nearby, with large flow of people and dense traffic flow, which leads to traffic disorder. Zhongguancun overpass No. 1 was built to solve the problem of urban traffic. Construction started on December 30, 2010 and officially put into use on December 27, 2011.

Although Zhongguancun overpass No. 1 has been reorganized to separate cars from people, it is still one of the most famous traffic jams in Beijing, especially Zhongguancun overpass No. 1 (Fig. 2). It has been calculated that pedestrians have to pass the Zhongguancun overpass No. 1, at least three to five minutes of red light waiting time; motor vehicles on the fourth ring road, at least 20 min to pass the Zhongguancun overpass No. 1 in the morning and evening peak become an important activity place in the urban public space [25], which is also the origin of this project to design a museum of urban memory.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Zhongguancun overpass No. 1 during off-duty hours (Photo by X. Kang)

Citation: Pollack Periodica 2021; 10.1556/606.2021.00398

3.3 Spatial analysis of Zhongguancun overpass No. 1

The motor vehicle driving space of Zhongguancun overpass No. 1 is vertically divided into two layers: the underground layer and the ground layer (Fig. 3). The space for non-motorized vehicles includes the ground layer and the bridge layer. The traffic is mainly concentrated in the southwest corner of the overpass at the A1 exit of Zhongguancun Subway Station. In addition, through analysis, it can be found that there are still underutilized spaces in overpass No. 1, which are the two traffic islands under the overpass, the inner ring space of the inner corridor and the roof of the overpass. These three Spaces provide space possibilities for the design (Fig. 4).

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Motor vehicle driving space of Zhongguancun overpass No. 1 (Drawing by X. Kang)

Citation: Pollack Periodica 2021; 10.1556/606.2021.00398

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Available spatial diagram of Zhongguancun overpass No. 1 (Drawing by X. Kang)

Citation: Pollack Periodica 2021; 10.1556/606.2021.00398

3.4 Mayfly – the museum of time

Due to its unique geographical location and surrounding environment, Zhongguancun overpass No. 1 has formed regional urban memory and landscape, which is humanistic and narrative. This opens up the possibility of building an art museum about the city's memory and stories of the times.

The narrative theme used in the conceptual design is “light and shadow of time”. Because the two corner spaces on the south side of the glyph-shaped overpass are adjacent to the subway station and the crowd is dense, the upper roof space in the northeast corner of the glyph-shaped overpass creates a public space for urban memory. Just as Le Corbusier's Ronchamp Church brings people a sense of sacred awe, the art museum of time also hopes to tell stories and convey emotions through space (Fig. 5). The museum in the corner of the overpass is like a mayfly. This insect has only one day of life. It has experienced birth, aging, sickness and death and changes in the world in a short period of time. This is similar to the story of the No. 1 overpass in Zhongguancun.

Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

Mayfly – The Museum of time (Drawing by X. Kang)

Citation: Pollack Periodica 2021; 10.1556/606.2021.00398

The geometric shape of the outer contour conforms to the modern aesthetics of contemporary architectural design. Through the combination of six loop-shaped corridor spaces, the moving line of the space is lengthened to connect the space with a continuous narrative theme space. The traffic island at the top of the overpass, inside the overpass and at the bottom of the overpass is connected with a walking ladder, making full use of the space and giving the possibility of multi-dimensional construction of the space (Fig. 6). The square colored window holes on the wall of the museum do not affect the complete display wall, but also constitute the exhibits of time. They shape the connection points of the spatial narrative and are also a small window into the city story (Fig. 7).

Fig. 6.
Fig. 6.

Mayfly – The Museum of time (Drawing by X. Kang)

Citation: Pollack Periodica 2021; 10.1556/606.2021.00398

Fig. 7.
Fig. 7.

Mayfly – The Museum of time (Drawing by X. Kang)

Citation: Pollack Periodica 2021; 10.1556/606.2021.00398

4 Conclusion

A city is a small universe, a place where human beings live together and gain social identity. The museum, on the other hand, is big machines for people to see the world, where they can think, communicate, question, feel confused and suddenly enlightened. Each person is a barometer of what is going on in the world, and what you acquire will eventually shape something new through you.

Spatial narrative can present the different social cultures, the spirit and state of human civilization in history. The theoretical research of spatial narrative as an architectural design methodology lies in incorporating architecture into the narrative dimension, through cross-discipline, theoretical penetration and development, in order to expand the field of architectural, and provide new concepts and mechanism for architectural design. The theoretical research of spatial narrative also lies in the emphasis on the relationship between the physical space and the spirit of the place, the external environment and the experiencers (people). Through the narrative research of architectural space, it is beneficial to the in-depth understanding, analysis, expression and innovation of architectural design.

The spatial spirit and realistic construction of space make spatial narrative possible. In the process of modernist architecture with a series of problems such as the all-pervasive capital, the explosion of information, the accelerated iteration of technology, the global urbanization, the loss of certainty, etc., spatial narrative, as a methodology, provides a meaningful answer to this unprecedentedly complex and changeable world. Spatial narrative can guide the design practice of architecture, and practice is also the best way to test the theory and the best feedback. The relevant case research in history can also supplement the theory of spatial narration.

Acknowledgments

Thanks to the teachers of the Marcel Breuer Doctoral School, Faculty of Engineering and Information and Technology at the University of Pécs, Dr Molnár Tamás, Dr Bálint Bachmann, etc., who have inspired this research. In addition, the author would like to thank DLA students Shi Yongqing and Ren Chao who have been communicating and discussing with the author.

References

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    • Crossref
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    R. Koolhaas and B. Mau , S, M, L, XL. Monacelli, 1997.

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    S. Psarra , Architecture and Narrative, The Formation of Space and Cultural Meaning .Routledge, 2009.

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    S. M. Lu , Architectural Experience – Plots in Space (in Chinese). Beijing: China Architecture & Building Press, 2007.

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    D. Libeskind , Breaking the Ground: An Immigrant's Journey from Poland to Ground Zero. Monacelli Press, 2008.

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    S. Wang , “The narration and Geometry of Natural Appearance: Notes on the design of Ningbo historical museum,” Time Architect., no. 03, pp. 6679, 2009.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
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    P. Zumthor . Thinking Architecture. Lars Muller Publishers, 1997.

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    Y. T. Shi , A. M. Tamás , and G. Sztranyák , “Restoring rural landscape: a case study in Chongqing China,” Pollack Period., vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 232242, 2020.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • [1]

    R. C. Venturi , Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. NY: Museum of Modern Art. 2002.

  • [2]

    A. Rossi , The Architecture of City. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1984.

  • [3]

    C. Alexander , The Timeless Way of Building. Oxford University Press, 1979.

  • [4]

    C. Norberg-Schulz , Genius Loci, Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture. New York: Rizzoli, 1980.

  • [5]

    K. Frampton , “Towards a critical regionalism: Six points for an architecture of resistance,” in The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture, F. Hal , Ed., NY: The New Press, 1985, pp. 1734.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • [6]

    S. Wang , “Fictionalizing city(in Chinese), New Architecture, No. 003, p. 80, 2002.

  • [7]

    N. Kruger and W. Kon , On collecting. [Online]. Available: http://www.dnp.co.jp/artscape/eng/focus/1202_02.html. Accessed: Dec. 29, 2020.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • [8]

    X. Kang , G. Medvegy , and Y. F. Zhou , “Renaissance of the ruins - Give modern functionality to rural architectural relics,” Pollack Period. , vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 220231, 2020.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • [9]

    B. Tschumi and N. Coates , The Discoourse of Events. London: Architectural Association, 1983.

  • [10]

    G. Debord . The Society of the Spectacle. Zone Books. 1995.

  • [11]

    N. Coates , Narrative Architecture (Architectural Design Primers). Wiley, 2012.

  • [12]

    B. Tschumi , The Manhattan Transcripts .Wiley, 1994.

  • [13]

    R. Koolhaas , E. Zenghelis , M. Vriesendorp , and Z. Zenghelis , “Exodus, or the voluntary prisoners of architecture,” Perfect Acts Archit., pp. 1433, 2001.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • [14]

    R. Koolhaas and B. Mau , S, M, L, XL. Monacelli, 1997.

  • [15]

    S. Psarra , Architecture and Narrative, The Formation of Space and Cultural Meaning .Routledge, 2009.

  • [16]

    B. Stinson , Descriptive Narrative: The Experience of Architecture Through Writing. University of Oregon, 2004.

  • [17]

    N. Zhang , “On urban story -a constructive conception of urban design of postmodernism(in Chinese), Urban Stud., vol. 5, pp. 812, 2004.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • [18]

    Y. H. Zhang , Writes (in Chinese). SDX Joint Publishing Company, 2015.

  • [19]

    S. M. Lu , Architectural Experience – Plots in Space (in Chinese). Beijing: China Architecture & Building Press, 2007.

  • [20]

    C. Norberg-Schulz , Existence, Space and Architecture. Praeger Publishers, 1971.

  • [21]

    J. K. Liu , Now and Here (in Chinese). China Architecture & Building Press, 2002.

  • [22]

    D. Libeskind , Breaking the Ground: An Immigrant's Journey from Poland to Ground Zero. Monacelli Press, 2008.

  • [23]

    S. Wang , “The narration and Geometry of Natural Appearance: Notes on the design of Ningbo historical museum,” Time Architect., no. 03, pp. 6679, 2009.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • [24]

    P. Zumthor . Thinking Architecture. Lars Muller Publishers, 1997.

  • [25]

    Y. T. Shi , A. M. Tamás , and G. Sztranyák , “Restoring rural landscape: a case study in Chongqing China,” Pollack Period., vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 232242, 2020.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
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10
Scimago
Journal Rank
0,262
Scimago
Quartile Score
Civil and Structural Engineering Q3
Computer Science Applications Q3
Materials Science (miscellaneous) Q3
Modeling and Simulation Q3
Software Q3
Scopus
Cite Score
269/220=1,2
Scopus
Cite Score Rank
Civil and Structural Engineering 206/310 (Q3)
Computer Science Applications 445/636 (Q3)
General Materials Science 295/460 (Q3)
Modeling and Simulation 212/274 (Q4)
Software 304/373 (Q4)
Scopus
SNIP
0,933
Scopus
Cites
290
Scopus
Documents
68
Acceptance
Rate
67%

 

Pollack Periodica
Publication Model Hybrid
Submission Fee none
Article Processing Charge 900 EUR/article
Printed Color Illustrations 40 EUR (or 10 000 HUF) + VAT / piece
Regional discounts on country of the funding agency World Bank Lower-middle-income economies: 50%
World Bank Low-income economies: 100%
Further Discounts Editorial Board / Advisory Board members: 50%
Corresponding authors, affiliated to an EISZ member institution subscribing to the journal package of Akadémiai Kiadó: 100%
Subscription fee 2021 Online subsscription: 321  EUR / 402 USD
Print + online subscription: 384 EUR / 480 USD
Subscription fee 2022 Online subsscription: 327 EUR / 411 USD 321
Print + online subscription: 393 EUR / 492 USD
Subscription Information Online subscribers are entitled access to all back issues published by Akadémiai Kiadó for each title for the duration of the subscription, as well as Online First content for the subscribed content.
Purchase per Title Individual articles are sold on the displayed price.

 

Pollack Periodica
Language English
Size A4
Year of
Foundation
2006
Publication
Programme
2021 Volume 16
Volumes
per Year
1
Issues
per Year
3
Founder Akadémiai Kiadó
Founder's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Publisher's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Responsible
Publisher
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 1788-1994 (Print)
ISSN 1788-3911 (Online)

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