The Atrium Effect
Please join the Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning for our Thursday Night Lecture: The Atrium Effect with Charles Rice, Professor of Architecture at the University of Technology Sydney.
Vast interior spaces have become ubiquitous in the contemporary city, from the soaring atriums of mega-hotels, mecca-museums and shopping malls, to the convoluted tubes and endless concourses of transport interchanges, these urban interiors define an increasingly normal experience of being ‘inside’ a city. This lecture explores the tension between inside and outside by discussing the work of American architect John Portman. With the Hyatt Regency Atlanta of 1967, and the Peachtree Centre development, Portman provided a new model for the development of the beleaguered American downtown, until its apotheosis in the 44-storey void of Portman’s Atlanta Marriot Marquis of 1984.
What does this period mean for architecture and its urban vocation? Can an understanding of the atrium’s emergence and its urban effects help us plan for future cities?
Educated in Australia and the UK, Charles Rice is Professor of Architecture at the University of Technology Sydney. He has previously taught at the University of New South Wales, the Architectural Association, and Kingston University London, where he was Head of the School of Art and Design History. He is author of The Emergence of the Interior: Architecture, Modernity, Domesticity (Routledge, 2007) and Interior Urbanism: Architecture, John Portman and Downtown America (Bloomsbury, 2016). He is co-editor of The Journal of Architecture (Routledge & RIBA).