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For at least a century, governments have tried urbanism in their nations. As a consequence, since 1950 rapid urbanization has given enormous pressure on urban development in many cities and might has been faced with the scarce supply of lands and made buildings higher in urban areas. There might also be another causes to make a city more high density looking from different perspective such as defensive boundaries. For example, from Iron Age hill forts to medieval castles, people were encouraged to live within walls for military protection. Consistently while the city is created, architecture must be one of the significant contexts to constitute a city. On the other hand, architecture also provides other element, which articulates the relationship between architecture and a city. It is a space, which is less obvious and less visible, is architectural voids in the city. Architectural voids might be created in two types of situation, which are intentional voids and accidental voids. Intentional voids might be created by demolishing buildings. While accidental voids might be created by building. The consequence as vacant space might be same, but the process might be totally different. In most cases, accidental voids might be created by the density of buildings or dwellings in a city. So, it can be said that accidental voids might be created especially in high-density cities.

Case study / The Keret House, Warsaw, Poland

As mentioned above, gap between buildings is accidently created in urban areas. As buildings increase, the gap space might also increase as well, which may waste space in a city. Moreover, the gap space looks dark and dangerous.

This might be an idea to apply gap between buildings. It is Keret House, which is a kind of structure and art installation built in gap between buildings. It is served as a temporary studio for travelling writers, starting with Israeli writer Eager Keret. This is a temporary building so it cannot be used for long time, but this idea might be one of the solutions to apply gap between buildings and a trigger to create new urban façade.

Case study / 81 Chancery Lane, London, UK

The architect placed five floors units include office and residential space behind a restored Victorian façade. The new public path runs through below the units and between 83 and 84 Chancery Lane, which once formed an open alleyway might create a new public intervention. Existing linking the two lanes were removed and replaced with a stepped glass and metal infill as new urban façade.


Murphy, D. (2017) Where is the world’s densest city? [online], Available from: [Accessed 21th May 2018].

Monbiot, G. (2011) Sustainable city must be compact and high-density [online], Available from: [Accessed 21th May 2018].

Narea, I. (2017) ORMS slots aluminium-clad office + residence into a victorian alleyway in London [online], Available from: [Accessed 21th May 2018].

Ng,E. (2010) Designing high-density cities: for social and environmental sustainability, London: Earthscan.

Rosenfield, K. (2012) Inside The Keret House – the World’s Skinniest House – by Jakub Sczesny [online], Available from: [Accessed 21th July 2018].

Stoppani, T. (2014) Relational Architecture: Dense Voids and Violent Laughters, Sheffield: Sheffield School of architecture.


School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509


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