Housing Master´s Thesis 2020

Robin Lithén

Public and private

Privacy is a complex concept and very multifaceted. It can refer to an individual sensation that one is protected from the observation of others, or feeling anonymous by being one in the crowd. It can be more practical – a space that is inaccessible for the public, either owned by an individual or shared by a group.

The yard affects how the interior spaces are experienced. Within the building, the door to one’s apartment is a defined social border separating the private life from the neighbors and neighborhood. It physically and usually visually separates the common spaces from the private whilst the visual connection between inside and outside through windows is continuous.

Depending on how accessible a yard is, as in publicly accessible or by a selected group, affects how it is used an experienced. Accessible yards are often described as inviting and pleasant but the designer must question if it is the appreciation of outsiders that is the purpose or if the aim is to create a space that is appreciated by the ones who actually live there. The sense of control and the feeling of ownership of the common exterior spaces may be at stake if the yard is accessible for everyone.