A Story of Three: A Narrative Approach to Reading Atmosphere and Making Place

Kristen Van Haeren, Klaske Havik

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    This article explores a site-specific, narrative approach to placemaking in order to reveal ways of reading and reacting to spatial atmospheres. The contribution presents an MSc Architecture project that results in the design of three particular places on the fringes of the Dutch urban landscape by means of utilizing a
    narrative approach to reading and analysing the existing site-specific atmospheres. The three architectural follies designed within the landscape present opportunities for the insertion of narrative through experience,
    illuminating the contents within the existing context. The intention of the project was to explore how an architectural installation could serve as a locus for the generation of new trajectories of perception and understanding. Through a sequencing of events within each landscape folly, the existing site is revealed to
    the reader in a new way, establishing new circumstances to engage with the landscape. The implementation of narrative within the processes of placemaking allowed for the overlay of subjective interpretations through personal experience, creating spaces saturated with personal signification and interpretation.
    The three projects demonstrate the necessity of freedom of imagination and interpretation in placemaking and how a narrative approach to design can allow one to be fully involved in the creation of personal and particular place.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5-24
    Number of pages20
    JournalSpool. Journal of Architecture and the Built Environment
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • placemaking
    • literary methods
    • Atmosphere
    • narrative
    • urban fringes


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