sayandeb mukherjee sayandebmukherjee at yahoo.co.in
Wed Aug 1 00:03:02 IST 2007



In the following years ‘apartment’ became the basic
structure of most of the residential 

buildings and whatever architectural improvisations
were attempted was executed with this 

configuration in mind. Single/Double storied
independent family houses rarefied whereas 

apartments or like buildings clouded the cityscape
generating a new look altogether. In some 

cities like Kolkata, Hyderabad, it also happened that
these houses (as mentioned above) were 

destructed and above the recreated space raised huge
multi-storied apartments giving 

accommodation to considerable number of families. The
families were put into units, as 

mentioned before as ‘flats’ and this multiple
existence of different families (with no 

inter-relationship in  most cases) under one roof
generated a new sociological structure of 

neighborhood, a new lifestyle with spatially
adjustable qualities imposed in the dwellers’ 

mind, a new philosophy of life. The space of my
interest is the passage between these flats 

that exist in the fashion of rows. We can say it is a
kind of re-incarnated space that got 

extinct with the death of big mansions, palaces, and
havelis and with the rising of small 

houses, then again took rebirth with the rising of
these apartments. It is the ‘corridor 

space’ apparently looks like a ‘tube’ with openings at
regular intervals which are actually 

the interface of different flats. These spaces are the
unavoidably emerged caves of modern 

The space has undergone more of a functional
displacement than the structural one. In the 

earlier establishments, the corridor space was
integrated inside the palace or haveli and 

was used by the members of the same big family. But
today’s apartment corridors are not 

entirely private and are instantly accessible to the
flat owners who’re not necessarily 

inter-related to each other. For the configuration of
today’s residential corridor spaces 

and for the sociological state (that it provides
instantaneous interference to unfamiliar 

territories with the immediate opening of my flat’s
main door) it imbibes conventional 

similarities with hospitals, educational institutions
and many other public spaces. For this 

reason, when I come out of my flat subconsciously I
bear a feeling of walking in a hospital 

or a college corridor. Also it is a common space
accessible to other flat owners. It is 

therefore, appears as a grey zone possessing the
duality of personal space (for having 

proximity with the familial space) and a historically
intertwined space that has got 

invisible visual similitude with outwardly public
(unprivatized) space. The deduction of 

these subconscious trajectories leads to the fact that
these spaces are not psychologically 

homogenous since it possesses multiple crossfades of
social conditioning. On every step in 

the corridor one undergoes the dwindling away of the
secured familial space and the 

introduction of the social space when one has to
mould/condition his self with the 

mannerisms or interactive fashions of the society. The
corridor spaces will 

characteristically differ not necessarily due to
architectural dissimilarities but the 

relation that it inherits with the SUPER-SPACE where
it is integrated. If the corridor is 

included in a hospital his psychological state alters
from that when he is in his apartment 

corridor. Another important aspect is the intersection
of time that cannot he disregarded 

since because the thought pattern changes along the
length of the corridor. An extended 

length of such a space will contribute to the
increasing curiosity of the intruder or will 

render a memoryscape that could possess associative
elements of the user with the ‘home’ he 

is moving onto. These shades of emotions corresponding
to the situatedness of the corridor 

space and the temporal factor will be discussed later.
Bringing the context of the apartment 

corridor once again I will construct a situation where
a person is retreating from his 

working space and has reached the apartment where he
lives in a small flat with his wife and 

a kid. He takes the lift that brings him to a long
corridor _ the space that he has to walk 

down to reach his flat which is the HOME of today. In
this transitory phase he will be 

majorly pre-occupied with the thought that he’s going
to meet the kid after a subsequent 

time. Along with, he might be recollecting the
happenings at the working space or how he 

spent chatting with his friend during a break or he
was humiliated by his higher official or 

how his boss elated at his performance or /and might
as well think his future schedules.  To 

summarize, an user while transposing through this
space makes a conscious walk pre-occupied 

by the thought of anticipation (>what he is going to
do next when he reaches the terminal of 

the space or what could be the happenings that he is
going to face as he arrives here) or 

recollection of the diurnal past (>what are the events
that happened on the very day, what 

were the situations that he faced.. etc). What makes
this space characteristically 

dissimilar is this self-consciousness (>certain layers
of consciousness that essentially 

involves self only) that evaporates away in a social
space – working or living. Another 

viewpoint that entails with a derivative of
self-consciousness is the phenomenon of 

perceptions. Karl Kupfmuller, a scientist, while
making a quantitative analysis of the 

neurological synapses to the brain has found that
vision has long been to be our dominant 

input. However, his study suggested that simulation of
even our conscious mind is almost 

equally well achieved from visual compared to auditive
inputs. So the derivative is that, 

we‘re mostly visually pre-occupied; most of the time
we’re instinctively engrossed by the 

visual extravaganza, thereby suppressing/overpowering
the auditive attributes of the space. 

Therefore, most of the time, when we talk about
certain psychological phenomenon or 

anomalies there remains a pre-consideration of the
visual perception. For example, while we 

speak about ‘VERTIGO’, we try to comprise it by saying
it is a psychological weakness that 

happens to the victim when he/she reaches a certain
height, he/she suffers from a tendency 

of falling down from there. This ‘height’ is a measure
derived from vision and its 

acquaintance has nothing to do with other sensations.
But, for finding thoroughly the cause 

of such an anomaly, one might consider other
perceptual attributes. As we go higher, there 

happens a severe fall of the intelligibility of sound,
the details with which we perceive 

certain sounds, gets attenuated as we reach a height.
What surmounts is an accumulation of 

sounds from other distant sources; in other words
AUDIO-HORIZON continuously expands with 

the height. Finally, as we reach a considerable
height, brightness of the sounds sourced 

from the surface [- the ground level] is muted, the
circumference of audibility has 

expanded. But importantly, a new frequency content in
the air is introduced that results in 

a sonic-boom/boominess. This particular sonic property
– boominess which deeply engulfs the 

listener/observer is very unnatural and is not being
encountered in our everyday life. The 

lack of acquaintance with such a sonic-scape will be
very annoying for the victim and could 

be an attribute for such dizziness. But we don’t
generally realize the auditory 

differentiations because of the overpowering visionary
It is therefore, interesting to note the state of
perception and its psychological 

manifestation as this visionary world is exterminated
like it happens in a double-loaded 

(-to be discussed later) corridor space. As discussed
earlier, in terms of synapses, the 

second strong receptor of perception is audio. So,
we’re more acoustically aware/conscious 

as we enter these spaces
.. to be continued.

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