Project: Space & Function

Exercise: Exploring Function

Choose any interior space, either domestic or public, and consider it from the point of view of its function.  Who uses it or will use it?  What is it intended to be used for?  And how many different aspects are there to that activity?  First, note what you think the space ought to be doing – a short list.  Then consider how well you think it succeeds.  Having made your analysis, make a carefully considered photograph of the space in order to put across the way it works – or should work – for the people who use it.

A building that was designed and built within the last 5 – 6 years is at our local nature reserve where the main building was replaced with the structure I’ve chosen to use for this exercise.  There are several distinct areas within the building that could just as easily have been used for the exercise, but I chose my favourite which is the learning/activity loft.

Short List

  1. Learning space for children and adults.
  2. Children’s activity space.
  3. Outlook point.
  4. Fun area.
  5. Safe zone, away from parents.

Success Rating

  1. Plenty of information on nature with actual examples of flora and fauna, interactive videos, books, microscope samples and games, suitable for adults and children.
  2. Plenty of interactive activities for children with space to accommodate several children simultaneously.
  3. Two windows, at either side of space, overlooking lake on one side and trees on the other with binoculars and bird call sounds available.
  4. Soft cushions and toys to play with, space to run around in safety.
  5. Only one access point from stairs, or lift alongside, always viewable from lower hall by parents, safety railings.
  6. Only downside is that the staircase is spiral and can be awkward and dangerous for two-way traffic.

Image 1: The Gallery, Nature Discovery Centre, Thatcham


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