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Erik Gunnar Asplund
The Snellman House, 1917, outskirts of Stockholm


    Photo of entrance doors
This is the most interesting reference for the understanding of the open space, as defined here, because the openings are small and closed; nevertheless, both the inside and outside spaces are extremely open to each other.

  Floor plan
The spaces behind the elevation seem to be organized with the outside space in mind.
Ludwig Wittgenstein, with Paul Engelmann, house for Wittgenstein's sister, 1926, Vienna

View from the entrance toward the hall
The spaces are open to each other in a smooth drafty way.


View from the hall toward the living room
The opening between the hall and living room is uninterrupted by this door.


Stairs wrapped around the elevator
This opening is smooth and drafty.


View from the hall toward the terrace
Although there are many vertical mullions, in a prison like fashion, these two spaces are very open to each other.

View of the terrace toward the dining room and the hall
Despite the reflection in the glass and many mullions, the spaces on each side of these doors are very concerned with and open to each other.

Floor plan
The floor plan of Wittgenstein's house shows that all the rooms are open to other adjacent rooms and terraces.
Konstantin Melnikov  

Pravda factory workers' club at Dulevo, 1927, near Moscow
Windows on this photograph are true openings between the inside and outside.


Mahorka pavilion, 1923, Moscow
The windows behind the balcony are true openings, which open the spaces on both sides of them to each other.


Melnikovís own home, 1929, Moscow
The windows let the outside world come into the studio, but not much the other way around.


Painting by Melnikov
A typical painterly scene of the French window, always intended to show the outside world coming into the interior.

Café-bar and administration building at Sukharevka market, 1924, Mosow
This solid volume is bursting through its windows and doors, and is open to the world outside of itself.

Worker's club for the Rusakov factory, 1927, Moscow
There are differences in the degree of openness in windows as seen in this photograph:
the windows and doors on the balcony level are much more open than the windows at the ground floor; while the tall windows above the balcony are less and less open the higher they get.
Adolf Loos  

Adolf Loos, Villa Karma, 1904-1906, Switzerland
This door is a symbolic and true opening into another space.

Adolf Loos, Villa Karma, 1904-1906, Switzerland
Although the two doors are heavy solid wood or metal doors, and give no information about the spaces behind the doors, the space from where we are looking from is very concerned with, and therefore open to the spaces behind theses doors.

Adolf Loos, Apartment of Willy Hirsch, 1929, Pilsen, Czechoslovakia
The doors toward the balcony are openings to the outside and the inside; the windows on the left hand side seem only to let the outside world in.

Adolf Loos, The Looshouse, 1990-1911, Vienna, Austria
True to Loos's writing (that gentleman should not look out of the window) and the privacy required for this waiting room of the tailoring department, the windows in this room let the whole world in, but nothing out.
Rudolph Schindler  

Rudolph Schindler, Wolfe House, 1928-29, Avalon, Catalina Island
The opening on the right hand side is more open than the large glass wall in front.

Rudolph Schindler, Manola court, Los Angeles, 1939
Although this is a floor plan of another Schindler building, it shows Schindler's greater concern with relationship between rooms than with the outside.
Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe are architects one might first think of when thinking about open spaces, but mostly this is not the case.
Here are photographs of two buildings by each architect.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright, Home and Studio, 1889, Oak Park
The windows on this gable wall, when closed like it is in this photo, are letting very little in or out.

Frank Lloyd Wright, V.C. Morris Shop, (currently Circle Gallery), 1948, San Francisco
Although it is a symbolic opening (similarity with Loos's symbolic opening at Villa Karma, above), this opening connects in an uncertain way inside and outside.
Mies van der Rohe  

Mies van der Rohe, Tugendhat House, 1928-30, Brno, Czechoslovakia
This photo was chosen for its similarity with Wittgenstein's house view of the terrace toward the dining room. Although Tugendhat house has more glass and less mullions than Wittgenstein's, the spaces are less open.


Mies van der Rohe, Crown Hall, IIT, Architecture Building, 1952-1926, Chicago
Although Crown Hall is a glass box there is very little that goes through its glass neither inside nor outside.

©Zoka Zola 2003