Transparency and learning spaces
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This thesis explores the various meanings and implications of transparency in architecture and in learning environments in particular. Architectural transparency, achieved through choice of materials and principles of formal composition, creates a diversity of relationships and can facilitate visual, conceptual, and functional clarity as well as offering simultaneous perception of different spaces. It offers a range of phenomenological qualities and so provides an opportunity to explore and complicate such dichotomies as translucency and opacity, openness and closure, and public space and private space. While celebrated throughout modern and contemporary architecture, transparency raises issues of privacy and safety even as it breaks down hierarchies and social boundaries. The research-based design of transparency in a school building necessitates careful planning to achieve a balance between the access to views, natural light, fresh air, and social interaction that transparency may bring and the continuing obligation to provide a safe, secure environment for schoolchildren.
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