Studia Phaenomenologica

Volume 14, 2014

Place, Environment, Atmosphere

Anton Vydra
Pages 53-72

Intimate and Hostile Places: A Bachelardian Contribution to the Architecture of Lived Space

The paper the author considers Bachelard’s approaches to the question of space in his specific phenomenological manner. After a preliminary reflection on Bachelard’s polemics with a Bergsonian underestimation of space in favor of time as duration, the paper discusses on the phenomenological attitude to the constitution of space. The next chapter explains Bachelard’s dynamical model of valorization in which positive and negative values oscillate in relation to our inner and personal experiences. The last chapter concerns the specific phenomenology of hostile spaces in contrast to intimate ones. In agreement with Bachelard, the author claims that intimacy needs experience of the dangerous and of openness, so it is not easy to determine when a specific place is or is not experienced as secure. Majestic, light and spacious buildings may not be experienced as more secure for us than small cabins with an intimate shadow of humanity.