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Building Pandemic Resilience in Design: Space and Movement in Art Museums during Covid-19

Li, C; Psarra, S; (2022) Building Pandemic Resilience in Design: Space and Movement in Art Museums during Covid-19. : SocArxiv Papers. Green open access

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Abstract

The global pandemic of COVID-19 has posed challenges in relation to how buildings re-open to use, particularly buildings attracting large numbers of visitors, such as museums and galleries. As these institutions start to reopen across the UK and internationally, a number of social distance measures have been adopted in order to safely bring people into their premises and access their collections. Building on Bill Hillier’s theorical model of spatial types and spatial structures (2019), we explore the spatial-curatorial changes implicated in the re-opening of four art museums (The National Gallery, The Tate Britain and Tate Modern in London) and one American museum (The MoMA, New York). Our purpose is not to provide practical solutions, but to set the search for spatial approaches to the re-opening of museums within a theory of spatial structure in space syntax theory and inform the design future of public buildings. We present a model of a three-layered spatial system interfacing the global and local structure of these buildings. We argue that the presence of intersecting cycles of movement in spatial layouts determines their capability for adapting to the one-way routes imposed by the pandemic. The spatial organisation of the display is a second factor influencing the reopening strategies, either limiting or optimising available spatial sequences to meet curatorial criteria.

Type: Working / discussion paper
Title: Building Pandemic Resilience in Design: Space and Movement in Art Museums during Covid-19
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.31235/osf.io/a5c7p
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/a5c7p
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 Published under the terms of the CC-By Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Keywords: circulation, design, pandemic resilience
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Architecture
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10130787
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