Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dominant and Subdominant Spaces

This diagram was originally a brief exploration of Venice as a collection of public spaces linked by a series of  thoroughfares. However the distinct hierarchy apparent between Piazza San Marco and the other public spaces reminded me of a less apparent concept in the urban environment, namely dominant and subdominant spaces that work within a city. Edmund Bacon's fantastic work The Design of Cities describes it as thus:

"establishing a primary center of the city, and a system of subcenters which recall the dominant center, the citizen feels pride of belonging. His identification with Piazza San Marco is an expression of the total civic life of the city, and with his daily life centering around the local square with its church, cafe, wellhead and perhaps monument, he feels a reflection of the total civic magnificence in his own neighborhood. Or conversely, as he identifies with the intimate square where his children play in his own community, he is able to move from this personal experience to an identification with the more difficult concept of the city as a whole"

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