Architectural atmosphere and the man-place relationship: the case study of the Dominguez House (1970-1980)

Sandra Costa Santos

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


If architecture reads dwelling as being simultaneously located in space and exposed to a certain environmental character, places have to be analysed by means of the categories space and character. While space denotes the three-dimensional organization of the elements which make up a place, character signifies the general atmosphere which is the most comprehensive property of any place. A phenomenology of architecture comprises not just a survey of manifest atmospheres but also an investigation of their concrete determinants. Atmosphere is made manifest through the detail: similar spatial configurations can have very different characters according to the concrete solution of their boundaries. How a boundary is depends upon its formal articulation, which is again related to the way it is “built”. The outside-inside relation that the boundary establishes offers thresholds, transitions between the inside and the outside, a feeling of being sheltered and, ultimately, a total man-place relationship, a feeling of being in place. Spanish architect Alejandro De la Sota developed a contemporary understanding of dwelling through the challenging design and construction of the Dominguez House between 1970 and 1980. This domestic project investigates the boundary as a key element in the relationship between man and place: man positions himself in place according to his own awareness of being through time. Through the case study of the Dominguez House (Spain), the paper examines the unfolding of an architectural exploration of the concept of dwelling. The work concludes presenting atmosphere as a key element for architecture to offer man a feeling of belonging.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015
EventAtmospheres - University of Manchester
Duration: 1 Jul 2015 → …


Period1/07/15 → …
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