Images of inhabiting at Campo Square in Siena: the integration of Bachelard’s topoanalysis in the interpretation of architectural and urban spaces
This paper focuses on the perceptual-psychological experience of place in Campo Square, in the Italian city of Siena. Viewed from this perspective, it contributes to Gaston Bachelard’s topoanalysis and aims to address a phenomenological analysis of the real, and inhabited images embedded in Campo Square. Bachelard focuses on topoanalysis, which is mainly based on the association of all our senses, most importantly the visual, aural, and tactile, with our lived experiences. The main objectives of this paper are to discover, examine, and interpret the real images that are influential in the creation of strong sense of place attachment in Campo Square. Based on qualitative research, including a textual analysis of Gaston Bachelard’s phenomenological imagination, the memorable character of Campo Square will be analyzed. The analysis will then be compared to that of another square, Haidplatz, in Regensburg, Germany. This comparison will reveal links between images of inhabiting (simplicity and protection) and images of our sensory realm in Campo Square and Haidplatz Square. Consequently the findings across the two squares lead the paper to suggest possibilities and solutions in order to propose a framework for the integration of topoanalysis in the interpretation of architectural-urban space.
First published online 25 June 2017
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Bachelard, G. 1994. The poetics of space. Translated by Maria Jolas. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
Benevolo, L. 1983. Die Geschichte der Stadt. Frankfurt am Main: Campus Verlag.
Canter, D. 1977. The psychology of place. Architectural Press.Carr, S. 1978. Some criteria for environmental form, Chapter 6 in S. Kaplan, R. Kaplan (Eds.). Humanscape: environments for people. Belmont: Wadsworth publishing Company, pp. 156–159.
Casey, E. S. 1998. The fate of place: a philosophical history. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Castello, L. 2010. Rethinking the meaning of place: conceiving place in architecture-urbanism. Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Limited.
Hennig, Ch. 2005. Mittelitalien. Ostfildern: DuMont Reiseverlag.Kostof, S. 1991. The city shaped: urban patterns and meanings through history. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd.
Leach, N. (Ed.). 1997. Rethinking architecture: a reader in cultural theory. London and New York: Routledge.
Lynch, K. 1978. The image of the environment, Chapter 6 in S. Kaplan, R. Kaplan (Eds.). Humanscape: environments for people. Belmont: Wadsworth publishing Company, 150–155.
McGuffin, D. 2002. Siena’s Grand Square [online], [cited 1 December 2015]. Available from Internet: http://blog.davidmc-guffin.com
Moosburger, U.; Morsbach, P. 2009. Regensburg und Europa im Mittelalter: Wege der Architektur. Regensburg: Fredrich Pustet.
Nasar, J. 2016. Behavior settings, affordances, and environmental preference, IAPS – Bulletin of People-Enviromental Studies 44(Autumn): 12–16.
Nevola, F. 2007. Siena: constructing the Renaissance City. New Haven und London: Yale University Press.
NoorMohammadi, S. 2015. The role of poetic Image in Gaston Bachelard’s contribution to architecture: the enquiry into an educational approach in architecture, The Journal of the International Association for Environmental Philosophy 12(1): 67–85.
Otero-Pailos, J. 2010. Architecture’s historical turn: phenomenology and the rise of postmodern. Minneapolis, London: University of Minnesota press. https://doi.org/10.5749/minnesota/9780816666034.001.0001
Pallasamaa, J. 1996. The Geometry of feeling: a look at the phenomenology of architecture. Transcribed, in K. Nesbit (Ed.). Theorizing a new agenda for architecture. An anthology of architectural theory 1965–1995. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 447–453.
Relph, D. 1976. Place and placelessness. London: Pion.
Seamon, D. 1996. A singular impact: Edward Relph’s place and placelessness’ [online], [cited 14 February 2016], Environmental and Architectural Phenomenology Newsletter 7(3): 5–8. Available from Internet: http://www.arch.ksu.edu/seamon/21%2096%20fall%207%203.pdf
Sedlmeier, A.; Vossen, J.; Maag, K. 2006. Stadtatlas Regensburg. Regensburg: Friedrich Pustet.
Steves, R. 2013. Hill Towns of Central Italy (Snapshot). Avalon Travel Publishing.
Stolz, H.; Köstler, T. 2003. Regensburg aus der Luft. Regensburg: Friedrich Pustet.
Trancik, R. 1986. Finding lost space: theories of urban design. John Wiley & Sons.
Trapp, E. 2008. Welterbe Regensburg. Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner GmbH.
Ujang, N.; Zakariya, Kh. 2015. The notion of place, place meaning and identity in urban regeneration, Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 170(27): 709–717. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.01.073
Van Manen, M. 2014. Phenomenology of practice: meaning-giving methods in phenomenological research and writing. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.
Vesely, D. 2004. Architecture in the age of divided representation. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Zimmermanns, K. 2011. Toscana: Das Hügelland und die historischen Stadtzentren. Dumont Reiseverlag.