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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



We often think of architecture as distinct buildings, yet as we move through the city we continuously pass through a built environment that is a collage of buildings. These spaces between buildings are underestimated as influences on our experience of everyday life in the city. Considering architecture as linked existential experiences through spaces rather than confined to individual buildings is more in line with our experience of the city as a series of interconnected spaces and places. Rather than describing a single, static architecture through words, how can we express this linked experience of spaces dynamically through narratives? Can writing reveal subtle experiences of interconnected atmospheres within the city? If so, how could this understanding inform the way architects consider the relationship between built-forms and the greater urban context?

This thesis investigates and interprets the atmospheres of pathways and in-between spaces to understand their influence on the experience of moving through the city. Although in-between spaces are where much of the human experience of the city occurs, they are rarely discussed and, in many ways, this keeps them out of the realm of design consideration.

Atmospheres (discussed by Peter Zumthor, Juhani Pallasmaa and Alberto Pérez-Gómez) arise from our multi-sensory perception of space. The thesis investigates the literature surrounding the phenomenological study and design of atmospheres as well as the connection between atmospheres and narratives—how they develop and are essential in creating meaningful spaces for embodied-experience.

Assuming the identity of the flâneur—city-wanderer, documentarian, and observer—as an entry point into investigating the city through movement, the project aims at documenting and rendering atmospheres in the city through photography and writing.

Through the intersection of architecture, atmosphere and narrative, the thesis presents a multi-media study of atmospheres of in-between spaces in Montreal focusing on writing as a tool for generating new narratives that inform design. This research project develops a new methodology that reorients design-thinking towards a sequence of experiences through atmospheres in the city.

Ultimately, this research sets the conditions, methodology and context for the architectural intervention of attuned public spaces for events along an extension of Parc linéaire du Réseau-Vert (the Greenline).


First Advisor

Pari Riahi, PhD

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.