The Public Interest

The city council chamber: from distance to intimacy

Charles T. Goodsell

Winter 1984

WHILE the term “public space” ordinarily brings to mind outdoor squares, streets, and monuments, it can also refer to the interiors of public buildings. Indeed, interior spaces may be more significant in affecting citizens and expressing political ideas, because it is in enclosed public rooms such as lobbies and auditoriums that citizens are fully embraced by the physical environment. It is here that important public rituals and deliberations take place, and where we normally find the most concentrated architectural statements of official values and ideas.

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