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The interaction between building layout and display layout in museums

Tzortzi, Kali; (2007) The interaction between building layout and display layout in museums. Doctoral thesis, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

A key issue, theoretical as well as practical, in the design of museums and galleries is how the layout of space interacts with the layout of objects to express an intended message or realise a specific effect. This issue can be addressed against the background of a coherent body of literature which, using the space syntax theory and method, offers a certain rigour in the analysis of spatial layouts, and within the context of a smaller, less systematic body of object layout studies which, focusing on curatorial intent, looks only obliquely at space. It is the intention of this thesis to try to develop a synthetic overview of spatial and object layout within a single theoretical framework, seeking to contribute to a better understanding of museum morphology. This combined framework is built through a series of paired case studies of European museums and galleries specially selected, and designed to allow the pursuit of specific theoretical questions. The aim of these case studies is illuminative and explorative rather than exhaustive, since each case study is intensive and requires a protracted period of field work. The analysis sets out from the conspicuous similarities between each pair of museums, which set the background for exploring critical differences with resp ect to the layout of space and objects, and as manifested in the observable patterns of visiting. The ideas generated from this analysis are then used to describe the main dimensions of variability of spatial layout, display strategies and visiting patterns. On this basis, the study proposes a theoretical model that relates these dimensions of variability, and shows them to derive from a set of basic principles, given as possibilities to be explored and combined. Depending on the way museums use these principles, it is possible to distinguish between museums that intend to convey a pre-given meaning and reproduce information, and museums that aim at creating fields of possible meaning and producing a richer spatial structure.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:The interaction between building layout and display layout in museums
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School > Bartlett School of Architecture

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