Architecture has the ability to cross boundaries that are not always associated with buildings. When structures are created as only edges not as enclosures, it becomes an entirely different experience.
Two examples of architecture based on a shape that creates a vastness instead of a space are designed by Heri & Salli and Juergen Mayer.
The architecture firm Heri & Salli designed a steel cocoon-like structure around a garden pool for a private residence in Austria. They discuss their project as,
“The objective of the opening element similar to a cocoon is to create different spatial qualities and experience space. Partly covered, withdrawn and protected, then opening and finally in the middle or in the end in the water of the pool where you can swim out of it. The curves convey a feeling of vastness- make the space bigger than it is-and create in the inside of the house an optimal resonant behavior.”
This spiraling fence gives a sense of privacy, an artistic glance at serenity all while being open to the very place that it creates.
This is similar to the space that was created by Juergan Mayer in Seville. I mentioned this space before as it won the HOLCIM bronze award in 2005. It is the Metropol Parasol and it opened to the public in 2011. This structure was designed simply to provide shade but it ultimately creates a new urban idea with a specified area. The Metropol Parasol is the largest wooden structure in the world and is held entirely together by glue.
Juergan Mayer describes his structure as,
“A Cathedral without walls. We sometimes call our project an urban, democratic, open cathedral that is held together by the people and the life in the center of the city.”
Whatever description is used for both these projects, it is obvious to see that they are not about creating an enclosed space, as traditional architectural structures are thought to do, but about creating an experience that is enjoyed by the boundaries that simply exist between spaces.