Front of House Areas – The Public Spaces
The Pocket Oxford Dictionary of Current English defines ‘armature’ as a ‘framework for supporting sculpture during construction’, which aptly describes the organising role performed by public circulation space in the process of forming a shopping centre. Common to all the different types of shopping centre format (described earlier in Part 2) is the organising role of the accommodation performed by the public circulation space. The organising framework of the public circulation space, and the constituent elements that define it, is arguably the most significant part of a shopping centre designed by the architect. It is also one of the few elements of the building that is designed in full by the architect and not just completed to a shell standard of finish to be completed by another designer, which is the general case with most of the accommodation described in the previous Chapter. The public circulation space is the element that organises and joins together the different parts of a shopping centre. As such the circulation space is partly defined by the different accommodation of shops, anchor stores, catering and leisure facilities. In view of the importance and significance of the role of the public circulation space, the architect will need
The circulation space forms the planning struc-ture and layout and, as such, will determine thebuilding’s success. It will establish the circulation of pedestrian footfall and the vertical movement of visitors between the shops, and will determine if visitors can conveniently locate and move between all the different facilities. The organisational framework can adopt a range of different geometric patterns, from a simple linear arrangement to a complex geometry of curves and angles (see Fig. 10.2).