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Initially one may say without question it would only be by visiting buildings do we truly understand the intention and atmosphere contained within. However, the richness, atmosphere, and feeling contained within a single photograph or a simple paragraph can hold so much weight when considering our reaction to a piece of architecture. In this regard how accurate can a photograph or paragraph depict a space, will the reader/viewers imagination fabricate the unachievable and as a result cause disappointment on first hand viewing, and are certain things best seen only through second hand resources. There may be a destructive relationship between the power of the media and the 'talent' or lack thereof the architect demonstrates; through the media we only see the world in a certain light, a carefully edited and controlled manner, yet it is only with first hand visits do we see the building fully, including all its flaws. Michael Benedikt writes that a building with a presence in reality is expressed fully, "every material and texture is fully itself and revealed". (Arch reality, p36) Benedikt also goes on to say;
"A building with presence . . . is not apologetic, but asserts itself as architecture, having a right to be here . . . to take up its position as a new entity in the physical world."
(m b For an architecture of reality, p34)
In The Eyes of the Skin, Juhani Pallasmaa argued that, "buildings have turned into image products detracted from existential depth and sincerity." (EOTS p30) This being the case then it is only when one visits a building does one fully engage the five senses of touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste. There has been much written about mans relationship with architecture (physiological and psychological) as well the relationship between architecture and the five perceived senses of the body. The majority of this literature can be classified as phenomenological, phenomenology being a philosophical movement based on the existential, or nature of self with relation to experience, and thought.
Is the act of experiencing architecture truly the act of understanding architecture? Or is there something else which is going on be that psychologically or physiologically that enlightens the observer to a level where a buildings form, structure or materials take on an otherworldly existence. To a large degree architects have learned the 'language' of architecture, they are able to articulate slight nuances on, for example, the way light may hit a wall, or the way a piece of timber has aged. Without this language, do we experience architecture less as we are unable to explain or articulate what we see? Are the slight nuances even seen? Art and literature are a transition point between the real world and the cerebral. Contained in literature and poetry is a world, no, infinite worlds which have been created through the use of text on a page, to many, they are as vivid, if not more, than the worlds in which we live. Art such as drawing and painting hold an even more immediate set of qualities, upon a single glance, one may be overcome with the atmosphere and emotions embodied within a single image, no words are necessary as the use of colour, form, and composition silently express their meaning. In essence, painting shares many of the same qualities as architecture yet the condensed nature of art into a single visual image often leads to highly charged representation of reality,
". . . each brushstroke must satisfy an intimate number of conditions [. . .] as Bernard said, each stroke must 'contain the air, the light, the object, the composition, the character, the outline and the style'. Expressing what exists is an endless task."
(As quoted in Thinking hand, p86)
Put image de hooch Vermeer rembrant.
When we experience architecture it is primarily considered a visual experience, yet there are many aspects of art which allude to experiences through our other senses. We can see the painted or photographed object, we can see its colour, its pattern and its texture yet it is only through our touch within reality do we experience more of the material. This concept of experiencing more of the material can also be applied to hearing, smelling and tasting a material, room, or building. Art cannot offer a full physical experience, one cannot feel the spaces yet as literature has proven through the years, the body does not need full immersion into a place or space to experience what it may offer. Gaston Bachelard eloquently examines the relationship between poetry and architecture recognising that, "time and space are under domination of the image," (POS p208) while reading, or viewing a painting, one is no longer in the present, one is placed in whichever space or time is being expressed.
Literature and the Architectural Image;
The eyes only see the world, they do not live the world, it is the body with all its senses that must 'touch' the world in order to live it. We must exist wholly in the world to truly feel its nature and the nature of our being, for it is only when we exist in a space does the space truly exist. Yet the idea of existence can be viewed from many standpoints within science and philosophy. It was René Descartes who first said, "Cogito ergo sum", translated into English, "I think therefore I am," (Reference) as a response to understanding that his perception of the world through the senses contains inherent fallacies. Descartes used the 'Wax Argument' (Note: Wax solid, senses solid, known as wax, then brought to a candle, melts but still known as wax even though characteristics have changed) as a demonstration of this power of judgment above and beyond powers of perception. Therefore developing his ideas further one may suggest that if one can think of something, imagine it, describe it, feel it, by the very fact that one recalls these experiences vividly, and describe them with reality, they could exist somewhere. Various books and films have engaged with the idea of imagination leading to reality, for example, Peter Pan can imagine food into existence just by thinking about how it smells, tastes, feels. These ideas are perhaps used more subtly within literature for generating an architectural reality.
In order to be fully engaged with a literary world we must first be 'invited' into such a world via the description of a place, a thing, a feeling. It is through these points of contact where one is allowed a glimpse of something, however small, on which the reader may construct their own version of this reality. It may be devoid of place, based simply on ones instinctual feeling of something, be that visceral or climatic, or it may be based on a room, a space where one can imagine the enclosure onto which all following details and events can be placed. In the Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard discusses dfksdfkasf's novel where he spoke of diving in the ocean and walking in the desert where, "I can only experience [these places] in imagination, without ever being able to enrich them with any concrete experience". (POS p208)
As a result, the more we experience of the world in which we live, the realities of the worlds which are created in art and literature become only more vivid. One is able to call upon a seemingly infinite bank of experienced imagery and feelings to aid in our fabrication of the imagined world. It is only when one 'sees' things in reality can one fully understand the artistic or literary intent of their use. If one is presented with an unfamiliar reality, the dependence upon the author's description becomes paramount as a structure to which one then collages fragments of 'embodied memory' in order to create the fictional reality, in essence, "literature and cinema would be devoid of their power of enchantment without our capacity to enter a remembered or imagined place." (EOTS p68)
In today's world, the power of the captured image as a disposable flashcard to reality, has expanded the world into realms, to a large extend previously unimagined. The mastery of the artist to enthral the viewer through paintings which, "must give suddenly. All at once, the shock of life, the sensation of breathing,"(Thinking hand, p85) the static subject contained within. More recently it has been through photographic and cinematographic images which have allowed the capacity of language to fully exploit ones cognitive abilities with relation to imagination and embodied memory. Having never travelled the world, one can instantly be transported into a vivid literary description of exotic places; the images created in the mind's eye are a collection of picture fragments collected from paintings, magazines, television. In the classic novel l'Etranger by Albert Camus we are drawn into the story of a man, Meursault, detached from reality (reality in the sense of society and personal relationships), who finds existence, or meaning of existence through his sensory experiences of the world.
"The sea carried up a thick, fiery breath. It seemed to me as if the sky split open from one end to the other to rain down fire. My whole being tensed and I squeezed my hand around the revolver. The trigger gave; I felt the smooth underside of the butt; and there, in that noise, sharp and deafening . . . . I knew that I had shattered the harmony of the day, the exceptional silence of a beach where I'd been happy."
(Albert Camus l'Etranger Part 1, Chapter 6)
The power of one's embodied memory fabricates the atmosphere and emotion (or lack thereof) of Meursault's world, and even without an immediate image of reference one can 'see' what he is seeing, one may 'feel' the inescapable heat of the sun, the 'touch' of metallic gun, the 'taste' of salt in the sea air. The use of simple descriptions for events add a power of reality to the image, it is not over complicated with literary embellishment. In everyday life, objects and events are usually described in a simple direct manner, thus using such a language in literature re-enforces the implied reality of what may be happening. Juhani Pallasmaa talks of, "oral versus visual space," (EOTS p24) when the world changed from an oral world to a visual world the actualities of meaning have been abstracted. The dominance of the eye led to the detachment of a person from reality whereby, "vision separates us from the world, whereas the other senses unite us with it". (EOTS p25) In essence, literature and the development of storytelling through prose and poetry, has begun to bring people back, in part, to an oral world where the dominance of the eye is subservient to the other senses of the body. The implied image is still seen in the mind's eye, yet through the use of simple descriptive language, other senses are awoken.
"You take its cool, smooth substance into your mouth, and it is as if the very darkness of the room were melting on your tongue".
(Praise Shadows, p26)
This extract taken from In Praise of Shadows, written by Junichiro Tanizaki, clearly demonstrates the power of language in its simplest form where, "letters read by the eye turn into oral sensations" (EOTS p55). There are only four key words in this quote; cool, smooth, darkness and melting, which are used to convey how the experience of eating yÅkan, a thick jellied desert, can be likened to tasting the space in which it is eaten; in this case the dark shadowed atmosphere of the traditional Japanese tearoom. The choice of words also emphasises the relationship between such a space and the choice of food; ones familiarity with shadow, having qualities associated with a cool space, calm on the eye or in other words 'smooth' on the eye. Tanizaki is transposing the qualities of shadow into the qualities of the food and visa versa, he is giving shadow a substance, a tangible comparison as the descriptive words used can be applied to both food and shadow. The choice of 'melting' also adds to this picture of serenity and calm, Tanizaki is likening shadow to water in simple terms (or a gelatinous substance), something which can ebb, flow and hold a person within a space in varying degrees of freedom. The darker the space, the more one is held, the stronger the relationship between the shadow and eating yÅkan. The use of such description also brings the argument of embodied memory as one is most certainly familiar with the qualities of shadow, yet having never tasted yÅkan the sensation of eating it is made more familiar, even if we are still unaware of how it actually tastes. By comparing seemingly abstract objects, and atmospheric conditions Tanizaki was able to familiarise his audience with, in many regards, an alien occurrence so far removed from the reality with which they may be familiar yet maintaining a degree of awareness to something identifiable.
Tanizaki's description of tasting architecture is perhaps more philosophical than some of the common stories where the characters taste architecture. Stories such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl, in the adapted screen play we see the characters lick the wallpaper. The idea of tasting architecture is perhaps more vividly seen in Hansel and Gretel, the Germanic fairytale adapted by the Brothers Grimm. After getting lost in the forest,
". . . they came upon a strange cottage in the middle of a glade. "This is chocolate!" gasped Hansel as he broke a lump of plaster from the wall. "And this is icing!" exclaimed Gretel, putting another piece of wall in her mouth. Starving but delighted, the children began to eat pieces of candy broken off the cottage. "Isn't this delicious?" said Gretel, with her mouth full. She had never tasted anything so nice."
(Hansel and Gretel, the Brothers Grimm)
This fable demonstrates the intrinsic link between taste and architecture, even in such an exaggerated manner the basis remains that children, and in particular new-borns, experience the world primarily through their mouths. Sight is the last sense to fully develop, this is well demonstrated in childhood development from before birth into early childhood, a child experiences the world primarily through its mouth and by its skin. In early childhood a toddler will place any object into their mouths to essentially taste them, however when the other senses have developed and social normalities are emphasised, taste is resigned to the singular role as the first point of contact in the digestive system. Hansel and Gretel break these social norms due to hunger, yet the idea of tasting a building remains taboo.
With relation to architecture taste has been demoted to a subset of smell due to the close relationship they share, taste can be defined as a combination of true taste, consistency, viscosity and smell, where approximately 90 percent of taste is smell. (www.smellandtaste.org). Considering this fact, it soon becomes apparent the degree to which smell affects ones experience of architecture. The smell of something is vividly remembered and thus contains powerful embodied memory of places, spaces, people, or events. As humans encounter most of their 'first' smells as children, many of the associated memories are those of childhood people and places. The centre for smell in the brain, the olfactory bulb, is, "part of the brain's limbic system, an area so closely associated with memory and feeling it's sometimes called the emotional brain." (http://health.howstuffworks.com/smell3) One common association for most people is the smell of institutions such as hospitals or school with early memories both pleasant and unpleasant. The poet Norman MacCaig, known for his simple use of language attempts to articulate this widely known phenomenon of hospital smell and associated emotion in the poem, Visiting Hour;
The hospital smell
combs my nostrils
as they go bobbing along
green and yellow corridors.
What seems a corpse
is trundled into a lift and vanishes
I will not feel, I will not
I have to.
In the opening extract above, imagery such as 'a corpse' and 'green and yellow corridors,' builds up a somewhat foreboding image of hospitals, reinforcing an association with death and sickness. The uneasiness of such places is highlighted with the verse beginning, "I will not feel," the repetition of this phrase outlines the nature of hospitals culminating in the acknowledgment of what may be happening, but not until, "I have to". These first three verses of the poem identify the sometimes unmentioned reality of hospitals, the final verses build upon the line, "until I have to," where the writer finally see's who he is visiting, in the hospital bed, "she lies in a white cave of forgetfulness".
The power of language to create atmosphere and evoke physical feelings not only through the description of things, like objects, people, places, but also through descriptions of events, nuances within the narrative which otherwise may seem insignificant but told through prose and poetry can completely alter the tone of the piece and therefore alter ones emotional, and sometimes physical response. It may be argued that the power of literature within an architectural realm has been somewhat overlooked; there are a few architects who describe their architecture through the use of storytelling and poetry, using considered and personal language which reads almost like a diary. Architects such as Steven Holl, Peter Zumthor and Juhani Pallasmaa, have all written with feeling about their methodologies as well as memories which they wish to evoke through their architecture. These memories are often highly personal, and perhaps by writing about what one knows, by basing an opinion on one's own experiences, an architect is at least satisfying one person. If other people share the same ideologies or experiences they may agree, but as with any art form there will always be the people that disagree. By writing about their methodologies and philosophy behind their working methods architects are opening themselves up to the reader, almost like a writer opens oneself up when reading a story or poem. By looking at works by Peter Zumthor such as Atmospheres, an almost architectural novella, chronicling his own experiences of the world, Zumthor is straddling the line between architecture and literature. In the opening paragraph Zumthor writes, with relation to an accompanying image (see figure 1, taken from p10 to be put in) how such an image moves him;
"Quality architecture to me is when a building manages to move me. . . . How could I design something like the room in that photograph - one of my favourite icons, a building I have never seen, in fact I think no longer exists - a building I just love looking at."
The subtle passion portrayed through such comments, comments which evoke an emotional response to an image, a single frame of reference for a building which has never been seen in the 'real world', never fully experienced with all ones senses. Juhani Pallasmaa mentions that this image, any image or photograph of architecture, contains no more than, "instant impacts that have no sustaining power over time" (EOTS p35). Yet for Peter Zumthor the quality of an image, "its intensity, its mood," (Atmospheres, p19) seems to evoke inherent creativity. The architectural image remains as a muse, allowing the mind to wander into another time and place, the image acts as a medium for 'day-dreaming,' similarly literature allows the same form of escapism where, "to read poetry is essentially to daydream" (POS p17). The idea of allowing oneself to daydream, allowing oneself to enter an imagined world, a world just for one person is seen best through the use of literature, as reading is on the most part an individual activity. Experiencing architecture is often carried out in the presence of other people, very rarely is one allowed the freedom of a building to 'read alone,' to read the way light falls upon a material, or how the position of a window frames the outside world. These experiences could be seen as physical manifestations of prose, Jonathan Glancey wrote of these idea in his article, Is there a poetry in architecture? Wonders, "if there's something new we could be learning here; a way, at the very least least, of imbuing contemporary architecture with a poetic vision". (guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 21 October 2008 17.23 BST). He wrote that;
". . . there was, and is, something in the structure, rhythm, balance, and the very language of architecture corresponding in certain ways with those of sonnets, odes and epics."
The comparison of architecture to poetry on a simply compositional and structural level could be seen as somewhat naive when considering the depth to which people are moved upon experiencing both architecture and poetry. It is no coincidence that many pieces of architecture are described as poetic, it is not because they share an organizational strategy, it is because they move someone. However there have been poets in the past whose choice of structure and organizational capture something else, something architectural. In particular the work of Stéphane Mallarmé evokes some of the compositional qualities of art and architecture. Mallarmé inhabits the page as an architect inhabits space. Qualities of fear, doubt, joy are seen in the poetry through the ever changing typeface and composition on the page. This is similar to an architecte placing a window or door, Mallarmé places words. A contemporary of Mallarmé, named Paul Valéry, wrote a piece describing his reaction to a piece called, On a Throw of the Dice (image xx);
"It seemed to me that I was looking at the form and patterns of a thought, placed for the first time in finite space. Â Here space itself truly spoke, dreamed, and gave birth to temporal forms. Â Expectancy, doubt, consternation, all were visible things."
(page 265-266 from stephane mallarmé: collected poems, translated and with a commentary by henry weinfield, university of california press 1995)
As with all poetry he manages to capture something, a moment in time, a space in the mind; similarly architecture manages to capture a physical space and moment in history. Architecture gives an artefact which remains to be seen and experienced. With poetry the book is closed until the next reader recaptures the same space in their mind, but the work of Mallarmé along with other poets manages to give the reader more of an experience, an experience which begins to provoke the sense of sight. The use of descriptive language within poetry, metaphor and simile among other literary tools combined to create imagined worlds as vivid as reality, the creation of an almost tangible situation where the nuances are palpable.
Hot light is smeared as thick as paint
On these ramshackle tenements. Stones smell
Of dust. Their hoisting into quaint
Crowsteps, corbels, carved with fool and saint,
Holds fathoms of heat, like water in a well.
This extract, the first verse of another Norman McCaig poem entitled Edinburgh Courtyard in July shares some of the power of description seen in the writing of Albert Camus, l'Etranger, yet the comparison of, "hot light . . . as thick as paint," and, "heat, like water," are similar in descriptive atmosphere to some of the description written in, In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki, when he writes about the, "very darkness of the room . . . melting on your tongue" (PS p26)
Yet for all the benefits of literature as a descriptive tool some architects argue there is no comparison to the immediacy of the material being 'there' in the real world. Michael Benedikt writes of the, "components of realness: presence, significance, materiality, and emptiness" (Arch Reality, p64). All components which must be experienced to fully comprehend, for example emptiness can be written about, it can be described, but it is only when one experiences an empty room, an empty building, an empty street, does the full nature of emptiness reveal itself and become understood.
By virtue of the nearness of touch one is allowed to postpone the intellectual thoughts which have to occur while reading. As one reads each word, each sentence, each paragraph, the mind must work subconsciously to produce these images. When experiencing architecture through first hand visits, one no longer needs to 'calculate' the space, the sentences and paragraphs are fully formed, ready to experience and interact with. As a midway point between these two experiences, photography can be seen to give a lot more than literature, yet still the physicality of space is still to be imagined. This could be seen as a downfall as the framework of reference is already set up, the mind may fight with the image given, as ones perception of the mood or atmosphere may not be in line with the architectural imagery shown. Literature allows almost full control of imagination and perception. As the descriptions of spaces and places are never complete until fully read, the mental image is ever changing, expanding, contracting, to suit each newly read word. The spaces created can be as large or as small as desired, Gaston Bachelard writes of this theme of elastic memory when he states;
"At times, I draw them close about me like protective armour . . . but at others, I let the walls of my house blossom out in their own space, which is infinitely extensible."
The choice of words used to describe when walls are either close, or distant, add to the nature of such elements in a given situation. When we are enclosed the walls seem to protect, they act as an extension of one's body like, "armour," keeping the world close yet at a distance. Armour alludes to a materiality of protection, strength, power, whether it be traditional adobe construction with its earthly significance or steel with its crisp, hygienic properties. As one allows the walls to open up, to create a larger space in which to exist, a lightness of form is adapted, perhaps a result of the emptiness left between one's body and the structure thus each element gains an identity, a space in which to exist. This lightness of form is eloquently expressed as the blossoming of the structure. This connotation, allusion to nature and rebirth creates a perhaps maternal view of architecture, a place where one regains the protection once felt as an unborn child protected within the mother. In an interview with Peter Zumthor for the Architects Journal, Patrick Lynch was discussing a quote by Alvar Aalto, the extract is taken from the full transcript of the interview where Aalto is stated as saying that, "the origin of the word material is mater . . . and a wooden building is the closest to human skin". Lynch goes on to say that it is, "the closest you will ever feel to your mother. . . . It absorbs all of us, it absorbs sound and moisture, it's resilient but also kind of vulnerable." (AJ www.architectsjournal.co.uk)
The feeling of things help to define ones boundaries within a space, within an area, one may feel more comfortable adjacent to one material rather than another. The choice of material embodies a building with a human quality, perhaps greater than any other aspect of architecture. One touches a building, the process of interaction may be the experience of walking down a corridor gliding ones hand along a smooth, cool plastered wall, or the simplicity of standing barefoot on a sanded timber floor, feeling the latent heat, life, of the building, the softness of the timber, the naturalness of the experience akin to standing outside in nature, the space is not only touched but itself is touching. It is the choice of material which bestows character and quality upon a space, architects speak of a building feeling like timber or concrete for example, the building wants to be something, the choice of material is integral to the success, or humanity of a space. During the design process the building may feel like timber, or brick, or concrete. Even though the building lies silent, inanimate, flat on a page, through an expression of composition, of solid and of void, placement of lines on a page, the building is asking, sometimes demanding to be made of a certain material. In this instance the building comes alive, the glint of light on a sheet metal roof, the depth of glazing when viewed from the outside, this all gives the building life. In particular, it is the materials that one touches, the cool metal door handle, the earthy timber banister, the warm brick wall which all make the building become part of a person, at that moment in time the building is connected physically, emotionally to the person. The intimacy which occurs between a building and occupier is perhaps best seen through the sense of touch yet, "all the senses, including vision, are extensions of the tactile sense . . . touch is the sensory mode that integrates our experience of the world with that of ourselves" (EOS p 10-11). Through ones physical interaction with an object, a space, a building, one's existence within reality is re-affirmed. One feels an object, the object exists, therefore one must exist in order to feel it, this argument re-states a physicality of the statement, "I think therefore I am," (Reference) adjusted to; I feel, therefore, I am. Even when one is standing still in a building, quiet, at peace, the building still manages to touch a person; the gentle caress of silence can surround, or even embrace a person. The building reverberates with the tension of in-between spaces, of a collision between light and form, of visual weight. The air in a silent building seems thicker than a building with casual noise, the air is palpable, one almost needs to wade through the space as building hold its breath. Then a sound, however feint breaks the silence allowing one to move freely through the spaces once more.
An architecture of silence is perhaps one of the most evocative phrases which can describe a building or space, and yes, architecture is inherently silent. Architecture is an inanimate object, it is a thing, it is built to stand still yet a building can make sound, it can speak of contentment, of pain, any emotion which is experienced can be mimicked by a space. The very nature of construction is a combination of materials, structure, cladding, decoration, all connected together to create a single form. It is from between these connections that the building speaks, imagine the squeak of a door that is slowly opened, the creek of a stair, the rattle of a tin roof against the rafters. The sound of a space can stir emotion or hold a memory, for example, in Experiencing Architecture, Steen Eiler Rasmussen, discusses;
"From my childhood I remember the barrel vaulted passage leading to Copenhagen's old citadel. When the soldiers marched throuch with fife and drums the effect was terrific . . . Even a small boy could fill it with a tremendous and fascinating din."
(Experiencing Arch, p225)
The power of acoustics should not be understated, the silence held within a building can seem to embrace a person, Similarly, sound that is produced within a space, for example, the recital of an opera, or a musical piece, may create such an atmosphere that one is unable to move, enthralled between the reverberation and notes held within the air. After a performance of The Turn of the Screw, one critic noted, "the silence as the final notes had died away, no-one wanting to break the tension by applauding" (Keith McDonnell, October 1997, www.whatsonstage.com). The acoustics contained within architecture alter ones perception of each space, loud spaces, quiet spaces, calm spaces. This implied atmosphere is clearly seen and experienced within churches, the combination of form, material, and use, creates an air of peaceful solitude, an air which one is afraid to break with noise. In the early Christian Churches, reverberation caused a problem while reading sermons, to combat this, the tone and rhythm of speech was altered to match the acoustic properties of the space to ensure the words were not echoed and overlapped into an undecipherable jumble. This resulted in the sermon being chanted, a resonant sound, which thickened the air and consumed the space, "the Latin vowels . . . carried full toned to the entire congregation" (Experiencing Arch, p228).
Every wall, every window, every floor has a resonance, one feels a building with our skin, yet a building is also felt with ones whole body. The sound created by a building can be felt, low-frequency sound created by the resonant properties of materials causes a physical reaction. This feeling is experienced in a variety of ways, it is the deep sound felt in the pit of one's stomach, dizziness or nausea, or the feeling that something else is in the room, a sound, an object, a person. The phenomena of feeling a presence in a room is often misinterpreted as the existence of something spiritual, a ghost or an entity, yet the simple explanation is the presence of infrasound, low frequency vibration emitted by the very structure of the building, resonance caused by elemental occurrences such as a wind blowing over, around and through the structure (www.lowertheboom.org)
The art of the musicality of language, the pause and emphasis of words used in poetry and literature, produces an unavoidable musical effect. Chosen words and phrases hang in the air seemingly making time stand still for a split second, "the most archaic origin of architectural space is the cavity of the mouth" (EOS, p59), resulting in a space becoming an extension of one's own body, a room becomes a reverberating chamber, an extension of the mouth or chest cavity. Hearing an echo of oneself speak, act to re-affirm ones position with the space but also within one's mind, hearing ones voice replayed back by the space we inhabit at the same time comforts and disturbs. The space is hollow, hard and alone, characteristics of solitude and the feeling of abandonment, consider a person calling down an empty cave and hearing nothing but the reply of one's own voice. By comparison the intimacy and perhaps, dullness, of sound replayed back, or not, in a smaller more comforting environment brings up the argument of nearness, and the distance to which a person is comfortable being away from their surrounding enclosure.