Permeability and Territorial Boundaries in Urban Projects
The need for privacy drives territorial mechanisms in space: multiple agents operate at different scales to provide a variety of models of depth in contemporary landscapes: distinctions between public and private spaces are far more complex than individual physical barriers in urban space. This paper pronounces a theoretical and conceptual discourse about the organisation and depth of collective spaces, tested by a rereading of historical and contemporary urban projects. Theories and models of proximity, permeability and territorial boundaries are linked with the idea of depth configurations in architecture, together with their spatial, social, cultural and environmental conditions. Privacy is one of the main issues in this discourse, as privacy depends on the level of collectiveness within a depth configuration, beyond the level of explicitness of defined territorial boundaries. DEPTH The relation between private and public spaces is defined by sequences with different lengths, different intensities and various ways of being read. According to N. J. Habraken, the built environment is defined by a territorial organization and is founded on the principle of inclusion within other territories. The author presents a diagram to relate this very principle of inclusion to transitions between private and public spaces: imagining different ways to access those theoretical territories, N. J. Habraken defines the concept of “territorial depth”. “Territorial depth is measured by the number of boundary crossings (…) needed to move from the outer space to the innermost territory”. As a result, territorial depth increases when collective spaces (like shared vestibules, common gardens, etc.) are introduced within the multiple sequences. However, territorial depth is not a static parameter: within a certain time framework, after the intervention of various urban agents, depth can increase or decrease in time, according to the specific characteristics and dynamics of the built environment. N. J. Habraken relates the possible increase in territorial depth to changing density…..
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