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Studio 2.3 – 2014/15


The Corridor as Architectural Space – Hotel in Amsterdam

Christoph Lueder and Fenna Haakma Wagenaar

From its origins in 14th-century Europe, where the term “Corridore” was used to name a person who runs to relay messages, to the gradual displacement of ensuite sequences of spaces by corridors in the 18th century which accommodated a growing demand for personal privacy, and to the Modernist usage of corridors in asylums, prisons, hospitals, hotels and social housing estates, the corridor has undergone a number of metamorphoses. In the 20th century, confronted by the open plan and the ideal of transparency, the corridor has been relegated to a subordinate role, an expedient means of access to cellular spaces or even reduced to a mere emergency exit mandated by building codes.

Studio 2.3 will examine the world heritage of the corridor as a space of memorable experience. In semester 1, we will evaluate a series of precedents in London and abroad, contemporary and historical, through photographs, scale models and drawings. While the design brief ultimately will ask for a hotel, the case studies will include a series of related typologies, such as arcades, quadrangles, tunnels, galleries and walkways, in order to inspire a broader understanding of the corridor’s role and future potential in buildings and cities. Our collection of case studies will form a research project, and shed new light on a catalogue of corridor typologies, each evoking unique formal, social and utilitarian connotations and atmospheres, and allow us to probe the latent prospects of the corridor to host activities and express unexpected spatial configurations.

The brief for semester 1 will ask for a hotel to be inserted on a site in Greenwich, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will ask you to consider movement and circulation in conjunction with rest, to integrate social and private spaces with each other and with the context of the urban site.

In semester 2, the studio will travel to Amsterdam, and propose a new hotel typology for another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Seventeenth-Century Canal Ring Area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht. The hotel brief will be infiltrated by communal programme, linking building to site, visitor to community.