The perception of space is, above all, relative. There is a strong link to the mental space, which is based on language of patterns created by the perceiver. The mental space is a convention of seeing which reflects the mind map, built on our upbringing, education, experiences, but also where we live and which language do we speak and last but not the least, our subconsciousness.
The end of 19th century has brought a breath of freshness into the field of psychology. Alexius Meinong has defined “experimental psychology” and has established first psychological laboratory in Leipzig, where he conducted first experiments in that field. He has defined his interest as ‘a meeting point of inner and outside life of the examined’. Such an innovative approach towards this topic has drawn architects’ attention to psychological aspects of the process of perception. His examinations were conducted pararelly to the introduction of the term of space in the architectural discourse.
The discoveries of the psychology of perception has opened the new ways of thinking of architecture. Henri Lefebvre, french philosopher, has analysed and defined multiple definitions of space. He determined mental space - space of thinking and dreaming, and geometrical, urban space, in which we live. On the other hand, Franz Xaver Baier has distincted 44 types of space regarding how they influence the subconsciousness. For example, he has determined spaces such as frightful or rapid.
The psychology of space has to a great extent influenced many works, among which, especially clear and interesting, is the totalitarian architecture. Although similar architectural tools and solutions have been used before, this is an instance of purposeful use of its power. We can read the references to absolutism, where large-scale, often symmetrical master plans are subordinated to one building. Versaille was one of the first urban compositions in history, which was designed to respond not militarian or economical requirements, but pure ideology.
Große Halle, Albert Speer