The inside of the outside is defined by the outside of the inside. We’re always in a space, we’re always inside. Even when we are outside, we are inside. Architects focus a lot of energy on the relation between the outide and inside of a building. Below some random examples of nice results of this thinking about inside and outside. All photographs by me.
Casa del Fascio in Como (Italy) by Giuseppe Terragni.
This building was designed to become part of the piazza in front of it during mass fascist rallies. To this end the front of the building consists of 16 glass doors that can be opened simultaniously. The hall of the building opens up and becomes part of the piazza.
Langen Foundation in Neuss (near Insel Hombroich) by Tadao Ando.
One half of the building is a big glass box that lets you experience the nature around the building. But the most interesting inside-outside interaction is a big staircase that cuts into the building. It looks like a huge entrance, but it’s not. I don’t think you can access or leave the building here (except for emergencies). It’s more an autonomous celebration of a staircase. When you’re inside the museum you look up to the light through this staircase. From the ouside looking down it doesn’t look like much, but when you’re down in the museum you have a great view. It’s not you who climbes the stairs but your eyes. The light comes down the stairs. A staircase for the light from the ouside that comes into the museum. Pure poetry.
Ministry of VROM in The Hague by Jan Hoogstad.
Inside of this building are a lot of outsides. There are 8 22 metre atriums in this building. The atriums are designed to be sound buffers. Through the atriums the people working in the building can open their office window. They can get the fresh air in without the sounds of the city and the nearby railstation. The different part of the building are connected by narrow bridges through the huge atriums, allowing the users to walk outside inside. The building also has a public passage way. You can walk through the building from the railway station to the inner city. The city flows through the building. The photograph is taken from this public passage looking up.
Hoftoren (by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates), Castalia (by Jan Lucas), Zurich Toren (by Cesar Pelli) and others in The Hague.
When you are walking in the streets, you are ouside of any building, but you are still inside an architectonic space. The public space is defined by the outsides of the buildings that surround it. You’re now in a collectively designed space, you’re in the inside of the outside.