Steven Holl, lobby, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland, 1998. All images courtesy of Steven Holl Architects.

After having discussed the basic concerns in previous posts, we need to describe how we can actually design architecture attuned to the concerns of the users. Which architectural means do we have to achieve this? And how can we create specific atmospheres that can elicit specific emotions?

First we’ll briefly discuss the senses and the way humans perceive architecture. After this we will focus on the stimuli (from the basic model of emotions), or in other words the architectural atmospheres that influence our emotional state. Atmospheres are created with certain architectural means. These architectural means – like the use of materials, form and light – were discussed in our series about architectural means.

Here is a short list of the architectural means and a link to more detailed information:

  1. Senses
  2. Form
  3. Mass or Void
  4. Movement
  5. Expression of Form
  6. Expression of Material
  7. Tension and Pressure
  8. Scale and Proportion
  9. Rhythm
  10. Complex Order
  11. Light in Architecture