Movement In Architecture: Sense of Flow and Dynamic Energy



Movement in architecture refers to the intentional and controlled use of motion in the design of buildings and structures. Movement can refer to the physical movement of people within a space or visual movement created by the design elements of a building. The purpose of movement in architecture is to create a sense of flow and experience for the users of space.

What is Movement in Architecture?

Architecture and movement are synonymous with each other. It’s like the peas-in-a-pod equation, where architecture is the peas and movement are the pod. No space in this world can exist without a sense of movement, tangible or intangible. Not only the circulation and visual movements but also the physiological psychology of motion, pictorial representation, and natural factors. Along with all other stimuli factors and elements, the physical movement of built form and space is also taken into more thorough and cogent consideration.

Having established the notion that architecture has the ability to move, this notion is purely symbolic of the fact that every built or natural space has an invisible string with its users. The strength of this bond ultimately determines the effect of the condition on the individual. For example, can you close your eyes and imagine what the local grocery store is like? Can you imagine the Taj Mahal the same way? These strings become central in determining the relatability one has to a space. That is why some spaces stand out and others don’t. Some are easy to remember but some leave an empty spot in the mind.

Architects and designers take this reciprocity between man and space into due consideration. How a person moves, what they see, hear, touch, and feel can ultimately be controlled by deciding how a person moves through or uses a space. Moreover, this is the true sanctity of architecture, the union of man with his inner self.

One of the most common forms of movement in architecture is the use of circulation paths, such as hallways, stairways, ramps, etc. Therefore, spaces that are primarily used for circulation, such as entrances, foyers and lobbies, corridors, staircases, landings, and so forth, are referred to as circulation spaces within buildings. These elements allow people to move through a building and access different areas, while also contributing to the overall design and experience of the space. In some cases, circulation paths are designed to be a key element of the architectural design, such as in the case of a grand staircase in a public building, or a sweeping ramp in a modern museum.

Movement In Architecture
Circulation in Architecture ©

Another important aspect of movement in architecture is the use of visual movement, created through the use of lines, shapes, and forms, particularly geometry where the architect has the vocabulary to articulate it whether it be through a series of connected planes defining spaces or a line of a curve. For example, a building with strong horizontal lines can create a sense of movement in a certain direction, while a building with curved lines and forms can create a sense of fluidity and dynamic energy. This use of visual movement can also be seen in the use of color, lighting, and other design elements.

In addition to movement within the building, movement can also be a key aspect of the relationship between a building and its surrounding environment, which is the physiological psychology of motion. Architectural psychology can heighten awareness of the significant impact that the built environment has on human experience and behavior and can help us comprehend how people and the built environment interact. For example, a building with large windows or balconies can create a visual connection between the interior and exterior spaces, allowing for a sense of movement between the two. Similarly, the use of landscaping and other outdoor spaces can also contribute to the overall sense of movement in a building.

Movement In Architecture
Color psychology in Architecture ©

It is very important to remember that movement in architecture also refers to the emotions and feelings that a space elicits in those who use it. It is not just about the physical or visual experience of a place. Due to the almost instantaneous nature of our senses, the architecture enables the most natural reaction. This is why architecture best exemplifies the ability to move people more than any other aspect due to the fact that building is naturally derived and unimposing. For example, a dynamic and fluid design building can create a sense of excitement and energy, while a building with calm and serene lines can evoke a sense of peace and tranquility.

In conclusion, movement in architecture is a crucial aspect of design that contributes to the overall experience and functionality of a building. By intentionally incorporating movement into the design, architects can create spaces that are not only functional and aesthetically pleasing but also evoke strong emotions and feelings in the people who use them.