Sensing Spaces: A Creative Experiment, in peer-reviewedSensing Architecture: Essays on the Nature of Architectural Experience, Royal Academy of Arts (2017)
Sensing Architecture sets out to provide a thoughtful commentary on our lived experience of inhabiting the world from several different and often surprising angles. The essays derive from a symposium of the same name held in March 2014 at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, which accompanied the exhibition ‘Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined’, in which seven leading architects created unique installations that the public was invited to move through and explore. Four papers from the symposium are included in this collection in revised and expanded form. They are joined by an essay from curator Kate Goodwin reflecting in detail on the ideas that informed ‘Sensing Spaces’, introduced with a series of images of the exhibition taken by the architectural photographer Hélène Binet. This collection is conceived to complement the exhibition’s insights and to offer further consideration of the different registers of ideas – philosophical, psychological, social and economic – that shape our experience of architecture.
Inagawa Reien and Sayama Lakeside Cemetery in Japan, designed by Hiroshi Nakamura and commissioned by the Boenfukyukai Foundation, harness the force of nature.
A man sits at a table at the end of a long, curved space with flowers, a cup of tea and a box of tissues. He stares out of the window over a reflecting infinity pool to the Sayama Hills. The configuration and atmosphere of the place offers privacy. Alone in his thoughts and memories, tears run down his cheeks.
I am here to visit two buildings – the community hall in which the man sits, and a chapel – both part of the Sayama Lakeside Cemetery. Witnessing this intimate moment was a humble reminder of the purpose of the place an hour’s train ride west of Tokyo, in a reservoir and recreation area known for its natural beauty.