Transition Is As Important As the Grand Gesture Within Your Design

There is a principle when it comes to systems optimization which says that if one part of the system is broken, you should look at the part just before it — because it is likely that that is where the problem really originates from. And to me, this principle can be carried through into architecture as you begin to look at how an occupant travels through built forms, from space to space, or from room to room. I think of course that the design of the grand featured and climactic gesture within an architecture is of paramount importance, but I also think that the transition which leads occupants into and from that featured space is of extremely high importance as well. With a transitional space within architecture, you have the power to “set up” an occupant impression. You can give them hints about what is to come, or you can minimize what awaits them to ultimately give them a grand surprise. Similarly, as an occupant exits a main and grand featured architectural space, a transition can help them to synthesize what they have experienced, as they form their last memories and impressions that they will carry with them once exited. Transitions can occur in the exterior and the interior, and within what is between the two. The key is to think about transition as a means of preparation for what is next, or synthesis of what has come. Because your occupants will always be taking next steps as they experience your building, those transitions will help them to synthesize what they are experiencing, while also preparing them for the desirable reaction which you as a designer hope for.

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