The sense of place in architecture
Wellborn, Clay Harrison
Master of Architecture
The "sense of place" in this study is the name given to the confidence and well being which is the result of a generally accepted concept of space within which man can relate himself, his environment, and the cosmos as a whole. When a sense of place has existed, so has a clearly structured, visually coherent environment. Contemporary man has no sense of place, and his environment lacks visual coherence. and clear physical structure. This thesis will propose a tool to help give visual coherence to our environment in spite of the lack of a. sense of place. In order to overcome the lack of a sense of place so that a visually coherent environment might be built, we must set a simple, generally acceptable criterion which will be the idea that can begin to bind together our individual work into a coherent whole. The proposal is that the scale of individually designed works be directly related to the velocity of the viewer. High speed seeing requires large scale structures and spaces, while slower speeds require smaller scales. This criterion springs from the basic aspect of our time: change and motion; and it recognizes the way in which motion affects vision. Although other factors which affect building and planning must be considered (land costs, functional and programmatic requirements, etc.), the principle can be a useful tool in giving coherence to our visual environment.