Shaped Space - Embodied Space, Borromini's Baroque Architecture
Book chapter, 2012
In his 1945 book "Phenomenology of Perception" Maurice Merleau-Ponty treats movement as a part of the tactile motor sense of the body and points to the fact that our understanding of the surrounding world takes place through bodily perception, how we ,with our bodies inhabit space and time. It is through our own bodily movements that we understand and experience space, he claims. Also, our experience of outer, physical space to a great extent is colored by the inner conceptualizations that we carry with us when we enter a certain space. Architect Juhani Pallasmaa discuss this in-depth in his "The Eyes of the Skin, Architecture and the Senses". The link between the physical and psychological is made by time. An architectural room configuration consists of such a sequence in time. A coherent Gestalt is important in order for us to be able to read an architectural space context, what I denote as a spatial rhythmisation. We can also sense our own body as a Gestalt. The following reading of the Baroque architect Francesco Borromini serves to illustrate the above thoughts.