1st Edition

Architecture of Threshold Spaces A Critique of the Ideologies of Hyperconnectivity and Segregation in the Socio-Political Context

By Laurence Kimmel Copyright 2022
    242 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    242 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores the relationship between architecture and philosophy through a discussion on threshold spaces linking public space with publicly accessible buildings. It explores the connection between exterior and interior and how this creates and affects interactions between people and the social dynamics of the city.

    Building on an existing body of literature, the book engages with critical philosophy and discusses how it can be applied to architecture. In a similar vein to Walter Benjamin’s descriptions of the Parisian Arcades in the nineteenth century, the book identifies the conditions under which thresholds reveal and impact social life. It utilises a wide range of illustrated international case studies from architects in Japan, Norway, Finland, France, Portugal, Italy, the USA, Australia, Mexico, and Brazil. Within the examples, thresholds become enhancers of social interactions and highlight broader socio-political contexts in public and private space.

    Architecture of Threshold Spaces is an enlightening contribution to knowledge on contemporary architecture, politics and philosophy for students, academics, and architects.


    Part I. Thresholds: some theoretical background

    Chapter 1: Threshold spaces are singular spaces

    Chapter 2: Threshold spaces express dialectics and can be political

    Chapter 3: First observations on Threshold Architecture—potential for emancipation

    Part II. Thresholds of buildings of different functions

    Chapter 4: Thresholds in cultural architecture

    Chapter 5: Thresholds of services areas and retail shops

    Chapter 6: Thresholds in architecture for age-specific groups

    Chapter 7: Public space as threshold space

    Chapter 8: Thresholds around semi-private Pockets in public space

    Part III. Constraints to the existence of thresholds and proposals of resistance strategies

    Chapter 9: Thresholds in the context of security strategies

    Chapter 10: Thresholds in the context of excessive morality or denial of social practices

    Chapter 11: Thresholds in the context of homogenisation of space

    Chapter 12: A critique of homogenisation and segregation

    Part IV. Towards a concept of Threshold Architecture

    Chapter 13: Artworks in public space: the role of Thresholds

    Chapter 14: Design principles of Threshold Architecture, and theoretical implications

    Chapter 15: Implications of threshold spaces for communities




    Laurence Kimmel is a Lecturer at the Faculty of Built Environment at the University of New South Wales. She is an architect (MArch, École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Lyon, 1998) and a philosopher of architecture (PhD, University Paris 10 Nanterre, 2006). Her research focuses on boundaries and gradients between public and private space. Her book Architecture as Landscape (2010) describes experiences of architectures as a succession of heterogeneous spaces of different statuses, and shows how architectural shapes mediate the perception of adjacent spaces and the landscape. The objects of her research cover architecture, artworks, landscape architecture, and urban planning, all of which she analyses in a cross-disciplinary way. Her research also addresses the notion of "critical practice": architects who consider and express tensions, paradoxes or contradictions of the socio-political context in their practice.