chapter  4
Exploring the construction of atmospheres in Claremont Court housing scheme
BySandra Costa Santos, Nadia Bertolino, Stephen Hicks, Camilla Lewis, Vanessa May
Pages 14

This chapter explores how the atmosphere of Claremont Court is experienced by residents, and how it contributes to a sense of home and community. By atmosphere we are referring to the feel of the place: the meanings attached to it. The chapter is structured around 2 aspects. First, the chapter explores the residents’ embodied interaction with Claremont Court, and their sensory experiences of architecture. Residents interact with architecture with their bodies, and this interaction contributes to whether Claremont Court feels inviting or uninviting. Secondly, the chapter explores how atmospheres can also be externally constructed and internalised by residents. At the same time that visitors’ perceptions of the housing scheme can contribute to atmospheres in a positive way, residents’ associations of liminal spaces to people “with” or “who cause” problems help produce ominous atmospheres. This chapter shows how important the agency of the dweller is for the felt atmosphere of architecture; but it also presents architectural atmosphere as an external construct, which can vary between different groups of people and across time.