Kristian Knorr
Cand.aarch MAA

+45 8161 6282

Li.     In.    Pi.

Space or Place?

Space or Place?

The terms space and place may sound and feel similar – but the fact is that they are two different discourses within the architectural vocabulary. The following two resumes should hopefully help clarify what defines a space and a place.


“Elements of architecture” by Pierre von Meiss

“…Whatever space and time mean, place and occasion mean more…” – A. van Eyck.

Pierre von Meiss draws a line between the terms “space” and “place”. Pierre defines spaces as the void, the area of nothing perfectly defined. A place, on the other hand, suggest thought and actions. A place is made of architecture which is enhances the ordinary already existing in the location – or that will exist there in the future.

Unfortunately, these days architects tend destroy more places than they create. Open plan architecture with no cues for use or personalisation is only a space. As a result of this upsetting development in architecture, more and more seek to recreate the old architecture: A more place-rich architecture.


“The practice of everyday life” by Michel de Certeau

Michel de Certeau defines space as a field moving through time, whereas a place is a distribution of things. However, the two terms often collide – both in history and in there definition. A place for instance, can become a space if you add the human movement and passing off time to it – like walking down the street. On the other hand, a series of spaces can also become known as a place, as they a distribution in relation to each other.

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