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Space Syntax: The ~anguage Museum of Space

Bill Hillier and Kali Tzortzi

Spacc S!-ntax is a tlicor!- of spacc and a sct of anal!.tical, quantitatil-e, and dcscripti\-c tools for analyzing the layout of spacc in hiiildings ;ind cities (Hillicr arid Hanson 1984; Hillier 10ci6).Origiiiating in architccturc, it aims to aiis\\cr Le! architectural cliicstions: docs the layout of spacc niake a differcncc.; If so, \\-hatkind of diffcrcnce? h n d ho\v may these difkrcnces he rcnlized throiigh design? For niuscuiils and gallcrics, it asks: docs spatial dcsign influcnce ho\\- pcoplc niove thro~iglithe la!-out? Docs it makc a difkrcncc to h o \ ~ galler! \\orAs as a social space? Can it be uscd to a enhance curatorial intcrit? Does the way in \\-hich spaces are arrangcd into visitable scqi~ences and ohjects are organized spatiall!. play a role ir] shaping the cxpcricnce \ isitor? of the n ~ u s c u n ~ Crrr.crtorirrl intent has rccci\-ed niuch attcntion in recent p r s , and non. fornis a foca1 thcriic for niiiseological studics. ,4 substantial litcrnture exists on ho\\- curators niay realize thcir intentions, antl hov chaiigiiig iiitcntions may reflect decpcr changes in thc contcstual socicty. 4i~chitt~i.trrrrrl intent has receilcd inuch lcss attcritioii, in spitc of an increasing rcalization, particularly through innovative architectural projccts, that spatial design can niake a significant differencc to the muscuni cxpcricnce. One reasoii for tlic lack of acadcmic - as opposed to architectural - intcrest niay he purely practical: thc ahsencc of a lrrr~~~rrrr~qt~ in whicli t o formulate clear :r.!f'sp~rcr? distinctions bctn-ecn onc kind of spatial layout and anothcr. l'his chapter aims to ti11 this gap by introducing the spacc sl~ntastheor!- and niethodology for anal!-zing spatial la)-outs as i.oi~fi,y~rr.cit1oi7.srclatcd spaccs, and showing ho\v the!- can be used of to investigate the social functioning and cultural iiicaning of spatial layouts. S!-ntactic studics of inuscums ovcr thc past two dccadcs are revieaed to show both the mide rangc of la)-out issues that ha\-c bcen covercd, and also lio\v thc accuniulation of ncw itlcas and tcchniclues has brought thc study of clrchitrcturcrl and crrrrrtoi-icrl intent closer togcther. M e end thc chapter b!. suggcsting that the muscum/galler!- constitutcs a niore or lcss \\cll-dcfinecl spatinl tlpe, with varied potcntials to act botli as a pcdagogical device for conimunicating knonledge and narrative, nnd for transniitting a non-narrative n~eaningin thc form of an cmbodicd spatial and social expericncc.

Space Syntax

people spaces

pliysical I~oiinclaries

people move in lines

interad in cotwex spaces

see changing visiial fields as they move aroiind biiilt enviionnients

Figure 17.1 Space is intrinsic t o hurnan activity: rnoving through space, interacting with other people i n space, or even just seeing arnbient space frorn a point i n it, has a natural and necessary geometry.

The Basic Ideas of Space Syntax

Space syntax is bascd o11 t n o philosophical ideas. T h c first is that spacc is not just the ba(k,yr-ou17rlto human activit!- and cxpcrience, but an intriiisir- aspcct of it. For example, human movcmcnt is essentially lit~ec~i., that movcmcnt traces are linc patin terns; interaction bctnccn two or more pcol~lc essentiall!. coii.(,.i.,in that it rcquircs is a space in which al1 points are visible from al1 othcrs; and n e expcricnce anibient space in buildings and citics as a series of differentl! shnpcd isorists, or \-isual fielcls (fig. 17.1). Hecausc h~iiiiana c t i ~ ~ i t y its o\vn riat~rrrrl has gtvoii~t~ti:)~, n~c tcnd to shapc space in w-a!-s that reflect this. The second idea is that hon spacc ivorks for peoplc is not simpl!- ;ihout the properties of this or that space, but ahout tlic r-elritioiir betn-ccn al1 the spaccs that niake up a lr,),out. For csample, how peoplc move \vil1 be affccted by thc coi!/iLy~rrlrtioii of spaces \\-itliin a layout; that is, the wa!- it offers sequenccs and choiccs in a more or layouts as spatial conless intclligiblc \va!-. \\C nccd, then, to know ho\\- to 11t~sl.r-ihe figurations with reason;iblc consistenc! if n-c are to csaminc thc cffects of diffcrcnt layouts on h o n peoplc movc. 'l'his is not straightforward sincc, although human languages havc nords that describe spatial rclations between t\vo or three elemcnts (cLbet\\-ccn," "beyond," "insidc," and so on), thcy do not have comparable tern-is for more coniplex sets f spatial rclations. This niay be because pattcrns of spatinl rclntions are so basic to our existcncc that the) form part of the apparatus wc thinh ivit11, rather than think u/'(Ilillier 1006). So \\-e nccd to find a way to anal!-zc spatial configurations of thc kind \\-e find in building and urban layouts. T h c k q to how this can be done lies in a 1-cr!- simple observation: that spatial la!-outs are clifferent n h e n sccn from different points uithin them. For csarnple, if we takc tlic simple la!.out in fig. 17.2a and locatc ourselves in the gra!. space niarked 0, \+-ehavc a choice of t i u r spaccs one space a\vay - and so 1-deep and marked 1 - then threc spaccs Zdeep, ancl so marked 2, and t\vo spaces 3-deep, and so nlarkcd -3. If we add thcm up, the total dtptli of the gray spacc from

Bill Hillier and Kali Tzortzi

Figure 17.2a-b Spatial layouts are different when seen from different points within thern. If w e locate ourselves i n the gray space rnarked O (a), we have a choice o f four spaces one space away - and so 1-deep and rnarked 1 - then three spaces 2-deep, and so rnarked 2, and t w o spaces 3-deep, and so rnarked 3. If we start in the corner gray space rnarked O (b), we have one space 1 deep, t w o 2-, 3-, and 4deep, and one each at 5- and 6-deep. The total depth o f the gray space frorn al1 other spaces is the rneasure o f its degree o f integration i n the cornplex.

Figure 1 7 . 2 ~ The relations between each space and al1 the others in the layout can be rnade visually clear in t w o ways: by shading spaces according t o the integration values resulting frorn the analysis, frorn darkest for rnost integrated through t o lightest for least; or, by rnaking the chosen space the "root" of a justified graph, in which t h e levels of depths frorn each space are read as vertical levels. So an integrated space has a shallow graph, a segregated space a deep graph.

Space Syntax

grande salle


laverie bureau



salle comrnune

\ \



- bule

I l



/ 1 1 I


total depth from grande salle 31

total deplh from oiitside 18

lolal deplh from salle commune 21

Figure 17.3 The justified graphs o f the rural French house frorn the outside, the sallecommune, and the grande salle show how culture manifests itself in the layout of space. For example, the salle commune, the space used for everyday living, is not justa space with certain furnishings and implements, but also with a certain configurational relation t o the house as a whole: it is the most integrated function space and lies on al1 rings of circulation in the layout.

allother spaces is 10. If \ve start in thc corner gray space markcd O in fig. 17.2b, \\.e have one space 1 decp, tn.0 2-, 3-, and 4-decp, ancl onc each at 5 - and 6-deep, gil~ing total oE 30. S h i s is thc basic of the ~iieasure the degree of ir?ic~g.r.n/inii each of of ace in a comples. ?'he lo\l-er the total, the niore integrated thc space; that is, the wer you have to pass through to go to al1 othcr spaccs in thc layout. 'The less inteted, or more scgrcyprted, the space, the niore spaces you llave to pass through to to al1 the othcrs. \Ve can clari- this by making each of the chosen spaces the grllph, as in fig 1/.2c, in which thc levels of depths froni each root" of alisrl/i~J ace are read as vertical layers abol-c the root. So an integrated spnce has a shallo\v raph, a segregated spacc a deep graph. Intecyr~~tio?i alues are then indiccs of thc lations betwcen each space and a11 the othcrs in thc layout. Space syntax analyis cornbincs thcse t n o basic ideas. Spatial la!-outs are first repented as a pattern of conves spaces, lincs, or ficlds of view eol~cring layout (or, thc will sec, some combination of them), and then calculations are madc of thc urutiorzal relations bctwecn cach spatial clement and all, or some, others. \Ve these techniques to shou. hon. culture manifests itself in the la\-out of space ing a spatial pattern in \vhich acti\-ities are integratcd and segrcgated to difent degrces. T h e spaces \ve identifl- with functional lnbcls such as "living rooni," tchen," or a "reccption" room are not just spaccs ~vithcertain furnishings, dective styles, and cquipment, but also \vith a certain con/iprnltior~tIIrelation to the se as a u-holc. For example, in the rural French house sliown in fig. 15.3, togethcr h its justified graph fiom thc outside (treating this conventionally as a single

Bill Hillier and Kali Tzortzi

spacc), thc SLIJJ~ L.OIIIII~IIIZC, Sor e\-cryda! li\ ing, is thc most intcgrated function uscd spacc, much niorc intcgratecl, for cuaniplc, than thc grnr?l!e sa//e for the formal reception of gucsts on special occasions, or the male liouseholder's bi~reau.'l'he pattern of integration ralucs resulting froni the analysis can be thought of as a rlc~c~p strlli/ure in the layout, and it can be hroiight to the surface by sinipl! shnding spaccs according to thc values, froni darkcst Sor most intcgrated througli to lightcst for least (red to bluc if colors are i~scd). hlaking mathcniatical patterns visually clcui b- using colors or sliadcs to repre! scnt nunibers is an essential featurc of space S!-iitax anal!.sis, since it niakcs underIying pattcrns, which cannot casily be secn in thc plan, ininiediatcl! clear to inruition. Othcr kinds of unobvious patterii can be niade clcar by the justitied graph. For c ~ a n ~ p l \ve can sce froni the justified graph of the Frcnch housc that the sri//(, e, ~ . o i t ~ t r r ilics ~ ~ i r o11 a11 rings of circulation in the la!-out, and this is far from ob\-ious iii the plan. Bringing strrirrili-os to thc surfacc in this \va! accesscs thcm ro dcsign thinkiiig aiid allo\vs them to be uscd as rr/L,ns to tlrjirX, ri>i/liin creati\-e dcsign. Biit \\-e can also use our abilit! to identify structi~res a step in cultural and social anal!-sis. For as csample, to thc degrce that the spatial csprcssions of fiinctional patterns are h u n d to be consistent across a saniplc of liouses - takcn, sa!; froni a regio11or a social group - then n c can sa!- that \ve are finding e\-idencc of cultiiral patterning in thc layout of the house itself vhich can be numerically dcmonstratcd. In this \va!; s!~ntactic anal!sis can shorv that the layouts of hoiiscs and, iiidced, of buildings in general, can as spatial cspressions of culture (Hansori 1998). be secn, r r i t/~~~ri.~c.!z~s,

Showing How Layout Shapes Movement and Co-presence

Uut spacc not onl!- rcflects and cxpresscs social patterns, it can also gcncratc thcm by shaping a pattcrn of riio\-enicrit and co-presencc in a la!-out. In general, :ind with iniportant cxceptions, syntactic anal!sis can shon- that thc pattcrn of spatial iiltqrritioii in a spatial la!-out will correlate to sonic degrce, and oftcn to a high degrce, \\-ith a p a t t u n of niorenient. Fig. 17.4a, for exiimple, s h o ~ thc traces of tlic tirst ten s niinutes of movemcnt for a hundrcd \-isitors cntcring the 'Tatc Hritain gallcry, shorying that sonie spaces are niuch niore \ isited than otlicrs (sec bclo\v). Fig. 17.41 then slio\vs thc pattcrns of z'islltl/ iiiiqyrl~lliioiiin thc galler!- consitlered pusel!- as a spatial pattern. 'l'his kind of syntactic anal>-sisis creatccl b! first filling al1 thc s p c e of thc layout nith a uniforni grid, as inc as n c likc, thcn clriining thc visual field froni the central point in cacli grid squarc, and siibjecting thc o\-crlapping r.isual fields to integiation anal+. So i~isualintcgration anal!-sis shorvs not sirilpl! \\-hiit can he secn froni each spacc, but horv nian!- visiial felds \\-e har-e to nior,c thro~igli to get to sec tiie \vholc la!-out frorn eacli point ir1 it. T'he pattern of r-isual intcgration in fig. 17.4b clcarly resenlbles thc density S niovemcnt traces ir1 fig.l'/.-Ca, and this can bc chccked statistically. By correlatirig the ar,erage dcnsity of movemcnt traces iii each space with thcir a\.erage 1-isual intcgration, we find an ~'valuc of 0.68, meaning that 68 pcrcent of ilie diffcrcnccs in ri-ioveniciit ratcs bctweeii spaces is relatcd to the pattcrn of visual integration in the layout

Space Syntax

Figure 17.4a-b The traces o f a hundred people entering the Tate Britain gallery and rnoving for t e n minutes (a) show that, upon entering, visitors quickly diffuse into rnany, but not all, parts o f the gallery. The density o f movernent traces clearly resernbles the pattern o f visual integration i n t h e spatial layout, shown in (b).

as a w-hole. B- shaping mo\-cment in this \\-a!; thc spatial la!-out of course nlso shapcs ! a certain pattcrn of L . ~ - ~ I P s L ~ ~ z L . ~visitors, and this is onc of its niost posveranlongst ful effects.

Studying Museums and Galleries with Space Syntax

The basic stratcg!- of S-ntacticanal!.sis is thcn to mcasure thc configurational properties of the spaccs that make up the layout, and through this to identifu the kcy srrurtulul fcaturcs of the la!-out. Tliese can then be corrclated cither 1s-ith the \s,a!-s in which spaccs are categorizcd ("living room" or "carl!- baroqiic" are cquall!- categorizations of spacc) or n-ith mal-cment rates within and hetn-cen thcm, or both. Since in nluscums spatial la!.out is commonly used both to csprcss and to support a pedagogical intention of somc kind, and to shape a pattern of s-isiting, space S!-ntax analysis can show how it is done and assess h o u it is norking. S!-ntactic a n a l ~ s i s can in effcct be uscd to show that spatial Ia!.oiit is both a tltpcnrlt,tzt variable, in that it can reflect prc-giscn social, cultural, or pcdagogical ideas, and 'ln ~ n r l i ~ e i i r l\~ t ~ t ariahle, in that spatial design can, and iisuall~n ill, ha\ e the conscquencc of shaping a pattern of morenicnt and co-prcscnce arnongst those using thc layout. In practice, syntas anrilysis is usuall!- rather more comples, nith many othcr nieasures of thc configurational positions of spaces in a layout, and also mcasures of the layout as a wholc (E-Iillicrand Hanson 1984). For exaniple, rcscarch has shon-n that ut defining this as the an important giiidc to h o n a l a ~ ~ o n-orks can be its itrtellig~ibilit)~, degree to which ~ v h a can be seen from individual spaccs in the layout gi\-es a good t

Bill Hillier and Kali Tzortzi

guidc to the position of that space in the Iiiyout as a nhole. For exanlplc, froin each space \ve can sce ho\v many conncctions to other spaces it has, but not ho\v intcgrated it is, sincc that depends on a nholc complcx of relations most of nhich cannot be secn from indi\-idual spaccs. S h e degrec to nhich the pattern of i.o?ltlzctizitj~of guide to the spaccs correlates with thc pattern of integration 1-alues is thcn a ~ o o d i?~/elligibili~,)~ layout (Hillicr ct al. 1983). of thc

Design Choices
Hon then has space syntax becn used to develop our undcrstanding of spatial la!-out ir1 niiiseums and galleriesi T h c first publishcd study using space syntax to s t u d - the n1useum/galler! was Hillier et al. (1082). This nas about design choices, and took thc forni of an analysis of the schcmcs proposed for thc extension to the National Gallcr!, 1,ondoii. T h e purposc of the stucly n-as to show that by stud!-ing critica1 spatial propcrtics, siich as axiality, segment;ition, and movcment choiccs, thc effccts of spatial dcsign on the inti)rn~ational potential and social character of the designs could he more cxplicitl!- discussrd, and so allow a more considered functional assessment to complcment the acsthetic considerations. Kcvien-ing the designs, thc studv suggested that the functioning of a scheme charactcrizcd b- riiajor ases n-hich cross its lcngtli aiid \\-idth, and conibined n-ith sec! andar!. axial lincs dircctl!- intcisecting the main oncs, \\-ould generate quite different peclagogic potentials and social experiencc to a more clahorate layout. One uould facilitate a prtlagogic. :ipproach in n.hich a simple structurc, 11-itli \arict!- and directness of spatial rclations anil seq~iencing, would suggest a chronological presentation of tlic collcction, and pcrmit a morc simultaneous appreciation of paintings and a\\-arcncss of others. I'he other woul(1, by allo\ving a range of altcrnati\-e routes, cncourage a more cxplorator!- visiting st!-le, and at thc sanie timc reduce awareness of othcr visitors and lead to shorter and less regular cncounters bctn-een them. In cffcct, the \-arious schemes offered quite different outcomes in ternls of the spatinl ~ . L ~ / I Lthat. L > might encoiiragc; the one more ovcrtl! pedagogic and at the same L ~ each timc more public and ceremonial, thc other more cxploratory and private. As it turned out, political development erisurcd that neithcr of the schemes u-as built, but the spatial character of thc Sainsbury \Ving as it \\.as finall!- built is critically reviewed bclou.

Space and Knowledge

Shortlj aftcr thc study of design choiccs, Peponis and Hedin (1983) p~iblisheda seniinal paper that provided a more thorniighgoing critique of thc pedagogic and social implications of layout. T h c papcr \vas based on a comparison betn-eeri tw.o galleries of thc Natural Hihtor!- TvIuseiiin, Londori: the Uirds Gallcr!, which had remained alniost unchanged since it \vas originall!. dcsignctl in 1881, and the Human Uiolog!- Hall, nhich had reccntly becn reorganizcd according to new cxhibition design principies.

Space Syntax

The authors argued that in the Hirds Gallcr!; thc experieiice of spaces, arranged on both sidcs of a central aislc, u-hich emphasizcd s!.nchrony and hierarchical order, reflectcd thc hierarchl- of the classiticator! ideas of naturc that dominatcd scientific thinking in thc eighteenth century In the Hunian Biolog!- Hall, naturc n a s presented though a sequcnce of spaces with varying depths, a spatial fcaturc that, they arg~ied, retlected thc theory of evoliition that prevailcd fi-om the middlc of thc nineteenth ccntury. 'l'he changes in eshibition design n-ere also held by the authors to reflect the changing relationship of visitors to lino\\-ledge, from direct and explicit to indircct and claborated. While in the Birds Galler!; the scientiic knowledgc n-as abstract, in that it \$-asdispla!,ed but not cxplained, in the Human Hiologj- Hall, it took a more physical, and didactic forni, reinforced through the popularist use of educational technology. 'l'hc authors also saw current cducational thiniiirig reflectcd and axiall!- fragmcnted cxhibition layout ser\-ed in the la!-out in that the s u b d i ~ i d c d to individualizc learning, in contrast to thc oldcr morpholog!; characterizcd b>-the central aisle which actcd as an integrating point and gcneratcd a collcctivc interaction betwccn pcople and objects. In al1 these censes, the authors contended, thc changes in la!-out reflected changes in ideas of scicntific kno\\-lcdge and its forms of transmission.

Comparing Design Alternatives

A \vider coniparativc study of layouts, focusing on both social and pedagogical implications, \\-as madc by Pradiniil; (1980). H e set out from thc conceptual framcwork for the transmission of knowledge dcveloped b!- the sociologist Basil Uernstcin (197.5) in his theories of curriculuni and pedagogy Pradinuii transposed Bernstein's concepts of "classification" and "firanie," originall!- devcloped to descrihe differences in educational knowledgc and its trnnsniission, to a more overtly spatial interpretation. to He used ~.lassiJil~atiot~mcan the visual insulation of the gallcr!. contcnts froni cach other, which \vould cither cncouragc or handicap cross-comparisons, and/innzilz,y to mean thc degrcc to which thc la!-out \vas scqiienccd to gcneratc a rnorc or lcss rigid circulation, and so govern the dcgree of diffcrcntiation in ~ i s i t o r sitineraries. IVithin ' this theorctical framework, he discusscd h o n spatial classification and framing would affcct the pcdagogical relations bctwecn curators and visitors and the social rclations among visitors, and suggcsted a t!-pology of some of the bcst-knoivn and niost influential gallcries in Europc. Praciinuk's ~vork inspired Choi's empirical studics of mo\-erneilt and spacc use in muscum and gallcry layouts in the earl!; 1990s. For his P h U thcsis of 19'91, Choi investigated hon- far movcment in the spaces of eight art niuseums in the US \\-as shaped by spatial configuration, rather than, for example, by the objects on display (see Choi 1999). H c rccordcd visitors' itinerarics and spatial distribution \vithin the layout in two Lvays: first as "statc" counts by rccording the nunibcrs of pcople, both static and moving, in each spacc in a series of visits; sccond, as "dynamic" pattcrns, by unobtrusivcly tracking indivitlual itincrarics and rccording thc frequcnc!. n i t h which each spacc \vas visited, and rccording as lraibitzg sior.cl the number of people who visitcd each space, and as t~.aikitz(ri e q ~ ~ i v z ~ : )number of tinies cach space was f thc ~

Bill Hillier and Kali Tzortzi

I isitcd. H e tlicn corrclatcd the t ~ v o scts of ohscr~ations hoth II-ith non-spatial FCictors, such as thc number of objccts in cach space, iind Ivith ~ a r i o u s mcasiircs of spatial coiifiguration, iiicluding con\-ei and auial connecti~~it! intcgration 2nd also a and mcasurc of I-isual range, mcaning tlie numbcr of othcr spaccs 1isiblc f'roni eacli space. 'l'he results shon-ed that for thc "statc" description there \\-as iio corrclation het~vecnthc number of' standing or mo\-iiig peoplc and thc n~iiiihcr objccts, and of onl! ;in iiiconsistent rclatioii with configurational \-ariables. For pcople that could be secn fi-oiii cach spiice, thcrc \\as, Iion-c1-ci;a strong aiid more or lcss consistcnt relation nith confi~urational 1-ariahles. 'Thc results from tlic iitiiil! sis of the "dynamic" traching tlata told a ver! dit'fcrcnt stor! witli a strong antl consistcnt pattcrn of corrclation hctn-ccii trackinp scorc and configurational I-ariables aild a n cvcn strongcr pattcrn of corrclation Ivith trackiiig frcqucnc!-. Choi also sho~sed that thc dcgree to n-liich ii~o\enientn-as prcdictable froni configuration n-as depentlcnt on tlic degrcc of S ntactic intclligihilit!. and intcgration of ! the la!-out, a phenonienon that liad hccn prel-iousl!- notcd fi)r urban mo1-cnient (Hillier ct al. 1987). O n thc basis of these findings, Choi proposed to distinguish two models accortling to the rolc of spacc in structiiring thc pattern of moiement: the (/~>IL>I.MI~Iz~.vI~. niodcl, according to which nio1-enicnt is forcctl as circulation clioices Lire rcstrictcd; and thc prnhithili.~tii.niodcl, accortling to 1 liich niol~crnent allowed to he 1 is inorc random but modulated by configurational ~ariablcs. T h e dcsign implications of Choi's rcsults were esplored b- Pcponis (19<)3),using ! thc case of tlic niuseuni to illustrate how undcrstanding frinctional potentials at a more abstract Icvcl allon-ed niuch clcarcr forinulation o' a range of strategic dcsign alternatives. Taking the Human Hiolog!- Hall in J.ondon's Natural History h'luscuni (sec abole) as a polar case in n-hich an intricate and localized la! out leads the 1isitor to losc an!- sense of tlic building as a II holc antl the social nature of thc museuni cspericnce, and thc Guggenhcim in Nen- E7orl\ as the oppositc case of a la!.out in nliich public spacc doniinates a highl! detcrniinistic 1-icII~ing seqiiencc, so that the "tnu scales of I-ic~ving come togcther into a single esperience" (1993: Y) l1c argucd ), that tlie High Muscum of Art in Atlanta euploits both potentials and creates a much richcr iiiforniational and social cspcrience. It tlocs tliis in two nays: first, through a '.OriJ, structure of integration, or ir~~qnrtioi~ n-hich continiiall!- guides locall! ~~ar!-ing movcmcnt patterns in thc gallerics back to balcon!--1ike spaccs ovcrlooking the sociall!- active main atriuni; secondl!; b- creatiiig a system of' visibilit!. in thc gal! lerics thenisel\-es that is niucli richer tlian the systcm of potential molcment, so that ~ s o r k s art frm thc foregrounrl and other 1isitors, appearing at var!-ing depths in of thc visual field, sometimes in othcr gallcries and somctinies in thc niaiil atrium, forin a background. In this \\.a!; the spatial la!-out creatcd a "built chorcograpliy of niol~ement and cncounter" (190.1: 60), iii n~hich museum Ivas an espericncc of objccts the and of othcr pcople richl!- intcgrated n-ith cach other in continuousl!- 1-ar!-ing wa! s.

Space and Visiting Culture

Uesign issucs wcre very much to the forc in tlie st~icly thc 'l'ate Britain galler!- bof ! the Space Syntax Lahorator- of Uni\,ersity Collcge London in 1996 (Hillicr et al.

Space Syntax

1996). T h e study \\-as conimissioncd b!- the Tatc to asccrtain thc likel!- implict of major additions and changcs that \\-ese tlien bcing proposcd to the esisting layout, thej niight affcct the pattcrns of visiting and, niore importantl!; the splr/i(~l and h o ~ v cult~~re thc gallery. Visitor sur\-eys had sho\\-n that 1-isitorsvalued the inti~rnial of and relaxed atmosphere of the Tatc, and tended to 1-isit quite impromptu and to repcat visit. Thesc \vere clcarly key 'lctors in the succcss of tlic gallery in spite of its somewhat rcmote location. 7'he puzzle \\as h o ~ vthe fi)rmalizcd, neo-classical layout of Tatc Hritain (fig. 17.41) could ha\-e crentcd \\,hat sccmcd to be a distinctl!- informal visiting ciilture. T h e first task \\as to grasp hon. the gallcr!- rvorkcd, and understand thc pattern of mal-ement, n-hich prcvious studics had concluded n-cre randoril. Rccordiiig thc routes of onc hiindrcd people for the first ten minutcs of thcir visit (fig. 17.4b) shoned that, upon entering, visitors qiiickly diffuscd into nlan!; but not al], parts of the gallcr!: hlan! mo\-cd aloiig thc central asis of the biiilding froni the main entrancc and thcn turncd iiito one of the shortcr cross ases, but 11-itli a strong bias to the left-sidc gallcrics. Illany others also turned inimcdiritely right to go to the Clorc Gallery (a late t~ventieth-century estension), but although this led to high flon-s in the main acccss spaccs in the Clore, therc \\-as a comparati\-c paucity of 1isits to thc inimediatcly adjaccnt dead-end spaccs. T o a surprising dcgree, the rnain feature of the pattern establishcd in thc first ten min~itcs ~ ~ i s iturned out to be rcflected iil of ts the all-da!- rnovement pattern. This study cntailed an unusually thorough stiid- of movenient and space use, ancl its approach has bccome the standard mcthod h r researcliing spatial la!-oiit in galleries and muscums. Sincc, for thc niost part, tlic la!-oiit of '13tc Biitiiin takes thc form of roorn-like spaccs with cntriincc spriccs oftcn, tliougli not aln-ri!s, aligncd in sequcnccs, counts of 1-isitors ciossing cach threshold 11-crc madc throughout the working da!; so that di\-iding the rcsult b!. t\\o (bccausc each visitor both cntcrs and leaves the spacc) gil-es a n x a n occupation ratc for cach space. Separate counts arid plots ncre also madc of h o ~ v nlan!. peoplc wcre 1-ien-ingc ~ h i b i t in cach space, agaiii s throughout thc norking da!-. Each spacc could thus be indcscd with niol-ing rate, a viening ratc, and 11 total occupanc!- ratc. T h e counts n-cre then corrclatcd with thc intcgration values givcn by thc ~ . / / t / i . ( / xir~l rcprcsentation and anal!-sis of thc la!-out, in which rooms \\ cre trentcd as linked to al1 spaces to n-hich thcre n-as a dircct visual coiincction. It \\-as found that, ns in the case of visual intcgration discusscd carlicr, therc n-as a \.er!- strong aiid linear relation (;m r' of 0.68, on a scalc from O to 1, n ~ i t h mcaning no rdations and 1 a O complctel!- dcterniinistic rclation), n-hich shon-ed that the gallery is being rcad h! visitors in the lvay it is dcsigned: as rooms linkcd \-isuall!- through entrances in en/il~/(/t. T h e key outcomc of the 'late stud! was that it showed the po\\-er of a hiiilding to shapc n-hat went oii in it through spatial layout. But u h a t madc thc glillcr!- \\ork this \\-a'; and could this in somc wa!- explain ho\\ an informal visiting pattcrn arose from a formal la!-out? In fact, thc spatial analysis had alread! niadc thc reason clear by hringiiig to light an i i l / ~ ~ y r i l ti.or~~ 17.413) hich liiiked the niain cntrance ~(~l~ (fig. through thc main asis to thc decper parts of the building, and striictured access both to the galleries fronl thc entrance, and betn.een gallerics in differcnt parts of thc

Bill Hillier and Kali Tzortzi

building. 'The avis, and the \va!-s in \\-hich the galleries \\-cre relatcd to it, thus pla!-ed a L! rolc both in niaking the la!-out intclligible as a \\~holc e(this \\-as nunicrical1~confirmed) and in organizing mo\~cnient both in and out of the gallcry and within the gallery. This is thc layout structurc which \\-e call a s/lclllon1 cnrc, and \\ hich has bcen sh\vn to create a sense of dynamic informal encounter in man!- types of building. 'l'his also has thc additional, enicrgent cffect which \ve have come to call L./IL~J.IIII people moving lvithin the gallcrv continuall> ~.t,-ei~co~il~/t,ronly those moving in not and out of the galler'; but also those they have cncuntcrcd prcviousl!; pcrhaps on cntering the gallery. >4spcople tcnd to unconsciously survey thosc \\ ith 11-hom they are co-present, a re-encounter e\-cnt can also he ii conscious or unconscious recognition espcriencc, a kind of mininialist vcrsion of meeting sonicone for a second time. 'Thcsc re-encounters fcel likc iandom events but are reall? a predictable effcct of the layout. T h c cllarl~ir,~cffect of a la!-out constantl! disengages peoplc from each other and then, 11-itha ccrtain probabilit!; brings theni togethcr again. Layouts vith i.ll~[r~ling to be espcricnced as more sociall!. cvciting than those \\ hich preclude tcnd it by 01-er-scquencing. This tlien is h o \ ~ informal, and apparently highl!- random, an pattern of visiting, \\ ith a cense of dense encciuntcr, can aiise from a formalized, ncocl;issical layout.

Spatial Genotypes
Starting out from the 'Tatc Hritain study, Huang (2001) sought to de\-clop a more thcoretical a p l x o x h to issucs of thc spatialization of knon-ledge and social relationships in muscuni la!-outs. l'aking into account tlie accumulatcd syntactic st~idies, and ~rl setting this against thc \\ider m ~ i s e o l o ~ i cliteriiture, he argucd that two key themcs ncrc eriibcddcd in tlie spatiiil layout of the niodern museum: orgilwiucil ~~~alX.iir,q and (!f'itsitnrs. T h c fornicr is rcalized by the organization of spaces into thc i.oyyr~,gutinl~ visitable sequences so as to map lino\\-ledge, and the latter is manifcsted b- the crc! ation of gathering spaces, thc itrtegrilttoll core, n~herc congreg~itiontakcs pliicc. the Huang san thcse two ,yo~oi)jpi~.al /ht'mes, of organizing scquences and gathering spaces, as providing thc ground for a typlog!- of niuscuni buildinps. T o illustratc this argunient, Huang anal'zed the s y t a c t i c structurc of a sct of museums takcn from different time pcriods and countries, iind classified tliem according to thcir strcngth of' scquencing and the depth of thcir integration core. IIe obscr\-ed that the integration coie of the niuseum had tended to bccome dccper \vith time, and suggestcd that this shift in thc pattern of spacc had an additiorial cfkct on the pattern of co-prescnce and co-an-arcness: tlie physical encountcr of pcople through nlovenlcnt which took place in thc shallo~l~ \\-as \veakcned and core replaced b; the l~irtual ! encounter of ~ i s i t o r s through visibilit!, rathcr than pliysicl co-presencc, in thc deep corc of thc niuseunl. 'l'herc \vas no comparable trcnd as far as the strcngth of scquencing \\as concerncd, though he did observe a particularly strong sequencing tcndenc! in British muscunis. 'I'his unevcn distribution of gcnotypcs in terms of time 2nd place supgestcd, Huang argued, that progrcss is not so much evolutionary, but a matter of finding diffcrent ways of resol\,ing an undcrlying conflict bct\\-een their social and infornia-

Space Syntax

tional function uithin a finite 5ct of possible na!s to dcsign muscum and gallcr! la! outs.

Space and the Viewer

Issucs of building h r m s werc addcd to those of layout b! Psarra and Grajc\vski \vith the aim of enablinp not only a hcttcr understanding of muscunl space, hut also a better understanding o' architecture as a larger, threc-dimensional, spatial. formal, social, and symbolic cntity ~vithinnhich spatial characteristics of thc kind spacc syntax mcasures occur. Setting out frorn the fact that thc condition of interaction betn~ccnarchitccture and the viewcr presupposes an untlerstanding of thc building, thc authors studied, in the contest of thc Museum of Scotland iii Edinhurgli (Psarra and Grajcwski 2000a), the gcomctric, volumctric, and surface articulation of the huilding and related it to its s!~ntactic characteristics. 'Thc paper madc also a proposition ahout thc ways in which the vie\ver can grasp thc thrce-dimensional sculpturing of thc building and looked at ho\\ thrcc-dimensional formal charactcristics can affect space cognition and intclligibility. The link bctwcen spacc s!~ntax antl thc architcctural and n a r r a t i ~ cpotcntial of museunls \\-as further cxplored h the authors in the study of the .Art Galler! and ! Museum, Kelvingrove (Psarra and Grajc\\-ski 2000h, 2002) 2nd mainl! by Psarra in the comparative anal!-sis of thc t\vo nluseurns discusscd abo\-c, togcthcr with the (Psarra 2005). Natural History Muscum, Lonclon and the Burrell Museum, Glasgo\~In this paper she looked at hon architectural concepts such as axiality and "spatial layering" affect integration, and suggestcd that architecture uses S!-ntactic propcrties to mediate the rclationship hct\\-ccn the huilding and the displa!-S, create a 1-arietl and interesting expcrience, and stim~ilatcfurther esploration. From thc historie buildings to the contcmporarJ- oncs, n ~ u s c u n ~ architecture mo\-es from "sho\vingn to "telling" and from classification to narrative.

Space and Cognitive Function

More recentl!; a shift of cmphasis within the literaturc of spacc syntax \\-as suggestcd by the contributions to the Fourth International Space Syntax Symposi~im, held in 2003: from the discoursc of the social and informational irnplications of muscum layout as a wholc, to a cliscussion of the behavioral and cogniti\-e functions of thc exhibition space in particular. This intercst n-as clear in a paper bu Pcponis et al. (2003), lvhich csplored the relationship bctn-cen layout and visitor hehabior in open-plan eshibition settings (sec also Peponis et al. 2004). It reportcd rcsearch into two travcling scicncc exhibitions, which displayed mainly interactir-e individual cxhihits, classificd according to conceptual themcs; these werc made cvidcnt through \arious mcans, from thcmatic labeling to coloring and spatial zoning. T h c challenge of this project, both methodological and theorctical, v a s to explore hon. a permissi\e, opcn la!-out, allowing

Bill Hillier and Kali Tzortzi

almost an! pattern of nio\.cment and unobstructed J-isibilit!; nia!- influcncc the pattern of eiploration. H- looking at tlie spatial arrangci-iicnt of indi\~idiial ! exliibits in relation to visitors' ~.orz~nc/s thcir atvarcncss of exhibits) and t ~ z g ( i ~ y ~ ~ r(i.c., ~ ~ t s (Le. ~ / c ph!-sical interaction) ~vith cshibits, thc stii(l! revealcd that spatial paranictcrs had a p o ~ ~ e r f cffect on the ul \va!- in n-hich people cxplored thc eshibitions. Intercstingl!; the pattern of contacts \vas affectcd b!- 1-ariations in dircct accessibilit!; \\-hile the pattcrn of engagements \vas intluenced b!- tl-ie degrcc of indi\-idiial esliibit cross-1-isibility T h c iiuthors also looked at the spatilil arrangcmcnt of cshibits on the same theme. I t \vas found that \\hile the scqucncinp of contncts \vas afkctcd b- thc estent to ! \vhicli the plans \vere thcniaticnlly groiiped, engagcnicnts i-csultctl f'roni n conscious dccision, thc cognitit e rcgistration of theniiitic labels. 'This iniplies tliat the design of spacc can add relationships bctn-cen objccts \\-hich are otliern-isc eqiiivalent in teri~is accessibilit!- or \.isihilit!, 2nd a f f c t tlic \\.a! s in n-hich displa!-s are pcrceived of ancl cogniti\-el!- mappe(1.

Space as a Symbolic System

Hat~ing discusscd h o ~ vthe miiseum layout acts as a pedagogic del-ice tt hich communicatcs kno\vlcdgc 2nd narrati\.e, t ~ no\\- come to scc that it u n also n~ork pedc as agog!- nimed at transniitting n non-narrati1.c nienning. Sta\roiilaLi and Peponis (2003) ha\-c ai-gucd that C. Scarpa's dcsigii of thc Castcl\-ecchio ;2Iuseuiti stages our pcrccption of how eshibits are rclatcd and constructs spatiiil nicaning. 1'0 illiistratc this argumcnt, thc authors discusscd tirst thc positioning of statues in the sciilpturc gallerics of thc museuni. It \vas dcrnonstratcd that their seemingly f'rec spatial arrangemcnt re\-caled iit closcr inspcction a de1il)crate configurational pattern: thc location of each statue took into accoiiiit that of otliers, so that their gazcs \vere cither dirccted to cach othcr, or interscctcd at a common point in space often thc intcgration asis (ig. 17.5). Rut thc pcrccption of these changing relationships bct\\-ecn the statucs' gazes depeiitled on thc t-isitors 1 ho occupied thc point 1 of interscctions and aclino\\-lcdgcd the cont-crgcnce of gazes; so tlie structure of the ficld of intersccting gazes could I)e rc~~ealcd though mo\-enicnt. ?'he statues became inorc than objccts to be sccn, aiid distant 1-e\\-irig\\as repl;iced b! an cmbodicd esperiencc. Iii this \\a!; spacc not onl!- gcneratecl pattcrns of ciicountcr bct\\-cen \-isitors, t)iit also sustained a ficld of co-atvareness, gencrlitcd b! the co-prcscnce of both visitors atid statucs.

lnteraction between Architectural and Curatorial Strategy

'Thc stud! of thc Sainsbur!- \ \ h p 171-'Fzortzi (2003) also ttitnesscs this reccnt cmphasi\ on thc micro-le\-el of spatial arrangcnieiit in iiiiiseuni scttings and thc pattcrn of intcrdcpcndencics I)ct\\-cen architcctiiral and curatorial intcnt. 'l'lie autlior first anal!-zcd thc moi-pholog! of niot-cnient iind argucd that this \vas csplained by the

Space Syntax

Figure 17.5 View of spatial relationships between statues a t Castelvecchio

Museum, Verona. Photograph by Kali Tzortzi.

configuration of tlie la!.out. T h c obscr\.ation study nliich invol~etlrccording tlic routcs of oiic liiintlrcd people tlirougli the gallerics - sho\\-cd that the spaccs that seemed to lic more often o ~ i t s i d c search track of 1~isitoi.s the \I-cre those of tlie central sequcnce of the tripartitc la!out, tlie iritcnded circ~iliition spinc of the ~ a l l e r y It \\-as . suggcstecl that this fcaturc is reliitcd to tlie "non-Haniiltoniaii" structurc of the gdlcr!-'S grapli: if tlie 1-isitor follo\\.s tlic routc proposed by the galler!; he o r shc cannot pass througli al1 the spaccs and rctiiin to the origiiial startirig-poiiit, ~ ~ i t h o i i t ha\ing to return to sonie of the sanic spaccs o r miss parts of tlie gallci!. Hut if, o n o n c hantl, the po\\er of spacc o ~ e r r i d c s interitions of thc curators the \\.hcn it conics to the niorpholog!- of eul>loration, o n thc othcr li;iiid, the author argued, thc s!nerp! betneen c~iratorial stratcg! antl spatial desigii renders successfiil the galler!-'S operation. Slic dcnionstrnted that tlic displa!- la!-out used spatial potcntinl to masiniizc thc iiiipiict OS objccts: tlie niasiiiiizatiori of asialit! eliminatcd distancing cffects, and iii con~binationn i t h the opcri spatial relationships, fa\orccl thematic or acsthctic relationships bct\\-cen 11-orks; iiitcntional ~ ~ i s t a s ases that iirid reiriforced cach othcr ser\-cd tlie placenlent of paintings ir1 strategic locatioiis at the end of long lines of sight o r in thc deepcst spaccs, a displa! de\-ice that ainled to create a \.isual c f k c t and thus intl~iccd nio\-eiiicnt. -4s ;I l>!-product cffect of both the spatiiil la!oiit and the aii-angenient of the display, tlie spatial cliaractcr of the itinerary bec~inie niore cohcrcnt arid tlie cspericnce niore deterministic. Looking at C:astel\-ecchio in cornparison \vith the Sainshiir!. \\-ing (Tzortzi 2004), the author found n diffcrent kind of integration of tlic ilcsig~i space \\~itIi la!.out of the of the display; rnther tlian using space to cnliancc the cxhibits, thc architcct uscd objects to artic~ilate and elaljorate spacc, and this sccmed to ha\-c an effect h!- iiiakiiig

Bill Hillier and Kali Tzortzi

Figure 17.6a The abcd typology of spaces according t o their embedding in the layout. An a-space is a dead end. A b-space is on the way t o a dead end, so you must return the same way. A c-space has one alternative way back, and a d-space is more than 2-connected and lies on at least two rings.

tlie ~ ~ i s i t culture more esplorator!; and thc muscuni \-kit, nn arc1iitcctur;il csperior cncc, a spiitial e\-cnt.

The Museum/Gallery as a Spatial Type

S~ntactic studies, thcn, are iricrcasingl! looking at thc interaction bct\\-cen thc t\vo aspccts of spatial layout: tlic la!-out of objects lvithin spaces aiid thc Ii~!-o~it tlie o' rclations h c t ~ ~ ~ c c n spaccs, and s1io11-ing thcm to I>c both Iiighl!- intcrdcpcndent and pon-erf~il thcir abilit!- to shape the cxpericnce of tlic 1-isitor.Nut \\-ha[ can be said in niore ge~icrally? is pcrhnps too carly to d r a ~ v It gencriil conclusions about the layout of eshibits \vithin spaccs, or the interaction b c t ~ ~ ~ c e n and thc configurational tliis intcrrciations bct\\-ccn spaccs, hut at tlic leve1 of tlic coilfiguration it cioes seeni posas siblc to niake gcneric suggestions about the niiture of thc in~iseuiu/gi~ller! a sp;itial t!y>c, and h o ~ v architectural intent can s c r w curatorial intent at tliis le\-el. T do this \\~e o n~iistintroduce some simple thcoretical iclcas \\~liich too recent are in tlicir genesis to ha\e 1-et had great influencc o11 enipirical studies. T'hese ideas conccrn certain rritcrrt7r(/irrte propertics of spaces bet~vecntlie local ancl thc global througli \vliich wc can assign each space in a la!-out a t ) ~ o / o g i r aidentity according / to 17011 cach fits into a local comples an(1 so acquires potentials for occiipation and mal-cment. \T can sho\v h o ~ v this is done (fig. 17.6a) b- iising the jiistified graph ! from tlie exterior of the Frencli housc shown in fig. 17.3. Eacli space is categorized