15 February, 2008

Humane Architecture

To me when I hear that word, I think about a pleasant place, where everyone has his own space, maybe a high roof, a big room, large window panels, a place with a lot of relaxing areas…etc.

When we were in Madrid, we stayed in a Hostel that had small rooms with 6 beds, a tiny little balcony and a narrow path way between the beds to get out of the room. But on the other side, when you get out of the bedrooms, there was an area that had computers with internet connections. The design of the hostel was unique. The core of it was a large space that allowed sun light and air from top. It was surrounded with windows and went through the 3 levels of the building. Around this main area, there was the kitchen on one hand side and the computer room on the other. A corridor went around the core and around it the rooms were placed. We rarely stayed in our rooms and we were always either in the kitchen or in the living room or the computers. The time we spent over there was one of the best experiences we have had. It is a lot better than each of us having his own room with all the space we have here. The public areas; kitchen, living room and computer area, functioned very well. People were there all the time and we all had what we needed of air and sunlight from the core. We met a lot of people just because everybody hung out at those three main areas. And it turned out to be better than our large rooms that had more space than this.

So despite the tiny space, the architect did an amazing job of keeping everybody happy by creating those, relatively, large public areas. And to me Humane architecture is more about being happy in the space we are in, more than it is the amount of space we are in.

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