Thumbnail Image

Atria - The inside story

Briggs, Liz
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::120101 Architectural Design , ANZSRC::120107 Landscape Architecture
There seems to be a resurgence of interest in the use of atria in large scale commercial buildings. Several recent prestigious buildings such as the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank in Hongkong, the World Financial Centre in New York and the Park Royal Hotel in Christchurch have incorporated an atrium in their design. The use of indoor plants is often an important and integral part of the design. This dissertation therefore sets out to investigate the reasons behind the increase in popularity of this type of urban space, and the factors which contribute to the success or failure of both the planting and the space. This is expressed in the following objectives: * To investigate the historic origins and subsequent development of the atrium space. * To outline the main characteristics and design functions of atria. * To examine the suitable planting and design of atria. * To consider the ways in which atria can contribute to the future urban form in New Zealand. 1.3 Definition Historically, an atrium was a term used to describe a cloistered courtyard at the centre of a Roman villa, which was open to the sky. However, today the term has become synonymous with a central enclosed and glazed space in a building. For the purposes of this dissertation, a modern atrium will be defined as: “a centroidal interior daylit space which organises a building.” In order to meet this definition, an atrium must be: i) Centroidal: in its spatial role within a building. It need not be the geometric centre as long as the majority of other spaces in the building relate directly to it. ii) An interior space: a space enclosed and protected from the weather. iii) Daylit: some measure of direct natural lighting. iv) Within a single building v) Capable of organising the building: this can be done in a variety of ways such as - a place of orientation - a focal meeting place and public space - as a social, institutional or symbolic organiser - as a method of modifying, distributing and channelling the natural flow of energy.
Source DOI
Creative Commons Rights
Access Rights