Mediating Transactions in the Anteroom: Tracing an Architectural History of the Lobby
This talk explores the ways in which the architectural space of the lobby can be understood as a technique of differentiation, mediating between diverse spheres and protocols. The lobby is intimately related to other physical forms of architectural communications such as anterooms, passages and corridors, which frequently figured as conduits of modernity. Tracing an architectural history of the lobby reveals its role as a critical space for managing and regulating the accessibility and internal procedures of institutions—from the anterooms in the courts of the ancien regime and the “Aye- and No-Lobbies” in parliament buildings to the modern bank lobby. Drawing on materialist media theory, the lobby is positioned as both an operative architectural arrangement and a conceptual lens through which architecture’s relationship with broader historical constellations can be explored.
This talk marks the end of Maren Koehler‘s fellowship in the LOEWE research cluster “Architectures of Order”. She was a visiting fellow from September to December 2021.