This paper discusses continuing research framed within a counterbalance between the fields of architecture and urban planning whilst taking into consideration the systematic relationships between spatial patterns and their referring social schemes. The main question addressed, is whether a better understanding of spatial boundaries will contribute—both theoretically and in practice—to conceiving better assimilated planning solutions and interventions into existing urban grids. Boundaries are considered here as structural agents in the global-local-unit interdependence, as the intermediary spatial formations where socio-spatial scales (domestic interior, urban neighbourhood, urban district, city) overlap and potentially interact. It is suggested that boundaries control the flow of social users in spatial patterns, being at the same time potential interfaces at different scales of activity where the individual is (successively or abruptly) transformed from inhabitant, to commuter and to citizen. It is further proposed that boundaries serve to control both disruptions in the large-scale urban grid, and disturbances at the local scale. The research topic is methodologically approached through the study of historic evolution of Athenian housing, as manifested in relation to city’s urban grid transformations. The methodological approach involves correlating architectural and morphological aspects with syntactic and analytical tools of Space Syntax Theory.
|Keywords:||Housing Typologies, Spatial Boundaries, Social Interface, Urban Flows, Space Syntax|
PhD Candidate, The Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, Faculty of the Built Environment, University College London, London, UK