Scale I: on the Cella and the City

I Between Inside and Outside

© Photo Jeroen Verrecht © Photo Jeroen Verrecht

Dom van der Laan defines buildings and even the city through experience. Urbanity needs to be interrelated with the human scale of the house. His aim, therefore, is to define architectonic space through the thresholds in human experience. Each person is surrounded by an experience-space that he does not consider homogeneous.

Cell, court and domain can be combined in various ways: from the centre or from the periphery. Dom van der Laan calls this a central and peripheral disposition, and he has a preference for the latter. A peripheral disposition leaves the court intact, while in the case of central juxtaposition the court itself is affected or fully built. In the case of peripheral disposition, the court is not divided into cells; it is formed by them. The court becomes a courtyard. The same goes for courts in a domain. If they are completely enclosed by cells, repeating this figure by itself around the terrain makes it into a court. The scheme shown in figure 9 is thus preferred. Cells, courts and domain enclose and shape each other. This way, the cell becomes the yardstick for the court, which in turn becomes the yardstick for the domain.

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