The Space Between refers to transitions between buildings—the glue that holds a figure-ground together. Traditionally in residential architecture, spaces are defined as indoor or outdoor; transitional space is often not considered nor embraced. This diagram (or Nolli Plan) is a quick study comparing four current townhouse projects designed by SHAPE Architecture. Though they vary in scale, a clear organizational theme is evident in all. Centrally orientated communal areas form the nucleus of each design, creating an open social space that is both human in scale but porous at the scale of the city.
Nolli plans are perhaps the most reductive but also the most interesting tools for explaining spatial planning—here the space between is immediately obvious and understood. The journey from one place to another can be easily imagined, marking these spaces as destinations. Our interest as architects lies in enhancing the experience of such spaces. Each of these projects have been carefully considered to strengthen the spatial continuity and the consequent interaction between public and private; and between people and environment.