The architect Alvar Aalto once argued that what mattered in architecture was t what a building 'looks like' on the day it opens, but what it 'is like' to live in thirty years later. In this book Robert McCarter presents a persuasive defence of why and how interior spatial experience is the necessary starting point for design, and why the quality of that experience is the only appropriate means of evaluating a work of architecture after it is built.We live in an age dominated by images. We often feel we 'kw' architecture and the places it makes, both old and new, through the photos of buildings we see in print and online, without ever inhabiting their spaces. McCarter argues that we need to counter our contemporary obsession with exterior views and forms, and makes a powerful case for the primacy of the interior experience in architecture.The Space Within explores how interior space has been integral to the development of Modern architecture from the late 1800s to today, and how generations of architects have engaged with interior space and its experience in their design processes.In doing so, they fundamentally transformed the traditional methods and goals of architectural composition. As McCarter argues, for many of the most recognized and respected architects practising today, the conception of the interior spatial experience continues to be the starting point for design. Through historical and current examples of architectural works he takes us through how this is done, and eloquently places us within the spaces.
Robert McCarter is a practicing architect and the Ruth and Norman Moore Professor of Architecture in the Sam Fox School of Art and Design at Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of many books, including Frank Lloyd Wright, also published by Reaktion Books.