BLOG: Transitional Spaces by Marisa Mines.
The way a space physically feels, the light that spills into a building, and the connection on a human scale, are all characteristics that help make the experience of architecture. Often times, the way a space makes you feel emotionally and mentally, can easily be over looked when you want to maximize every square foot of space on your project. Every building, whether residential or commercial, needs transitional spaces. These spaces help provide a necessary transition from the outside to the inside or from one type of program piece to another. In addition, these spaces can be an essential transition on a social interaction level or provide those moments of relief for the user’s best experience.
Moments of relief can be accomplished through plazas, breezeways, corridors, and vestibules. These spaces work on different levels depending on the project. For example, a breezeway in a school can be the necessary transition from classrooms to other programmatic pieces like a gymnasium or library. It adds the necessary relief for students to take a mental break from the repetitive cycle of moving from class to class. Plazas that are outside of a residential complex or commercial building can help funnel in business or pedestrians to create intrigue to your building. Corridors and vestibules help become the visual transition to separate formal from informal spaces.
These transitional spaces add the necessary relief to make the user’s experience more enjoyable and potentially less confusing when entering a building for the first time. They become visual landmarks when navigating through a new space. These transitions can be accomplished through a sudden material change, a shift in the hierarchy on a human scale level, addition of visual dividers like screen walls, and the introduction of outdoor elements into an indoor space for that emotional relief that every person needs. When planning your next project, think about what you want your moments of relief to look like, what you want them to accomplish, and who is going to use them. In the end, it will benefit those who use the building physically, mentally, and emotionally.