Slam Your Doors in a Golden Silence



Presentation / discussion and Selection


Abstract and Poster


Architecture and Arts
Esther Venrooij

Files: abstract, poster, full paper ( = updated abstract)

Fragments from proceedings (‘abstract submission’)’:


Often we judge architecture for its external appearance. In the spaces we perceive or construct we must become aware of its cultural and current spatial realities. As the architect Peter Zumthor has pointed out: “to experience architecture in a concrete way means to touch, see, hear, and smell it.” A keyword in my research practice is “experience”; we want to come to a different understanding of architecture, with the possibility of creating a relationship between the physical environment and the “immaterialities” of space, like sound and movement. When I am walking through a space for the first time, I often become aware of the inherent stillness of the architecture. The only things moving through the space are shadows and light. I look at the transitions between rooms, between floor and wall, ceiling and wall, window and door. Instead of making measurements or architectural drawings, I just listen to the sounds of my footsteps, all the while becoming carefully aware of the rhythm of walking and moving through a space. For me, this is the process of ‘reading the space’; it also involved making drawings and photographing the space in order to grasp its essence. These drawings are often not so much a means of illustrating but of understanding the space. While walking through the space (touching, smelling, seeing and listening), I am trying to find points of tension, lightness, silence or resistance in a space. The emptiness and silence of a space can give us time to observe the environment more carefully and make observations, as well as the possibility to reflect on ourselves. Our ‘dwelling’ might in future lead to a response to the corporeality of a space. In my research practice I focus on questions such as: How do architectural sensations, intuitions and fascinations lead to creation and invention? What specific property of a space leads to a physical experience? How can I make a room perceptible? What is visible, tangible and audible in an architectural experience? For a comprehensive research of experiential space we would need to examine different modes of this experience (tactile, auditory, visual, conceptual). And subsequently develop from these abstract ideas an independent research practice based on the so-called “thinking-through-making” concept of anthropologist Tim Ingold.


Spatial experiences; Interdisciplinary methodology; Sound; Acoustics; Art