• Nicolaj Østergaard Thunbo
4. semester, Arkitektur (cand.polyt.), Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
Teoretical Part

Architecture has profoundly been influenced by the scientific evolution and includes especially studies of the analogy between the human body and its environment; from Vitruvius’ admiration of the human anatomy to Kevin Lynch’s psychological observations of the human mental image. It is reasonable to assume that the recent revolutionary conditions of neuroscience would affect architecture of tomorrow.

One of the most crucial brain regions in the perspective of both neuroscience as well as architecture is the hippocampal formation. The main region of the hippocampal formation, the hippocampus, is considered to maintain an essential cognitive mechanism for spatial memory. Especially, two fundamental discoveries underline this theory: the memory deficits of patients in consequence of neurosurgeries, and electrophysiological studies identifying a correlation between the neural activity of hippocampus and the spatial location of an animal.

Reviewed by the knowledge of the recent neurological studies of the hippocampal formation, it is suggested that the underlying neural mechanisms, a collection of spatial cells, establish a spatial representation of our physical environment, a cognitive map, in order to facilitate our spatial understanding and navigation.

The structure of the cognitive map is investigated as a result of both the environmental setting and the self-motion signals received by exploring the environment. The characteristics of the individual architectural features are clarified by neurological observations, and finally verified in an architectural context in order to provide sufficient insight into how our physical environment influences our ability to form new memories.

Practical Part

Our physical environment acts as an evidential part of our memory. Each and every given situation is encoded in our cognitive map, spatial as non-spatial, and represents individual sensual inputs of our surroundings. Since architecture characterizes the majority of our everyday life, our sensual contact with it must respect the process of remembering.

The principles derived from the neurological studies let us understand, how architecture can influence our spatial memory and establishes together with principles from both Kevin Lynch and Christian Norberg-Schulz the theoretical groundwork in order to understand how architecture and nature influence our ability to form new memories.

A recently rejected vision about a Landscape Hotel at Holmland Klit near the Weastcoast, Denmark, is object for this theoretical application in practice. The Landscape Hotel represents a hybrid between the ordinary holiday home and a holiday resort and offers a space exclusively reserved to comprehend new memories by stimulating other senses than the everyday life. The theory let us understand how the individual functions of the Landscape Hotel from the private hut placed isolated in synergy with nature to the historical and revitalized Klitgård are emphasized by the architectural properties.
By focusing on the sensual dispositions, the individual fragments of our memory; as the sound of the door, the feeling of the cold wind, the sight of the tall silo, the smell of the fresh heath, and the taste of the local food, the individual parts of the Landscape Hotel takes its form. Through a process of refining these sensual inputs of both architecture and nature each and every space enhances the intended experience of being at the Landscape Hotel.

This approach demonstrates how evidence-based knowledge of neurocognitive mechanisms of spatial memory can be applied in practice, and exemplifies how architecture facilitates our ability to form new memories.
Udgivelsesdato31 maj 2017
Antal sider250


Isoleret på den jyske hede
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