The architectural experience of the Kasbah of Algiers: Insights from Le Corbusier’s experience and neuroarchitecture

  • Imane Rezzoug Ecole Polytechnique d'Architecture et d'Urbanisme
  • Kenza Boussora
Keywords: Le Corbusier, Kasbah of Algiers, spatial properties, architectural experience, content analysis


This paper contributes to a deepening of the knowledge about how architectural experience can be described in neuro-phenomenological terms, through the development of a cognitive-phenomenological approach to examining architectural experience through text-based analysis. It aims to develop an assessment tool to produce knowledge about one’s personal experience and perception of the built environment by exploring the impact of its spatial properties on an individual, taking as a case study Le Corbusier’s experience of the Kasbah of Algiers. The results demonstrate that this city has the power to stir emotional engagement that arises from: a high cognitive-affective reaction towards the dynamic interactions between the curved contours of its streets; the harmony of its colours; the magnitude and vastness generated by its panoramic views towards the sea; its proportions in relation to the dimensions of the human body in different postures; the contrasts of the height, light, dimensions and ambiances; and the spatial navigation that favours the act of walking to discover the Kasbah and unveil its mysteries. These properties exist as complex networks of interconnected physical and atmospheric elements, and they involve integrated perception under the influence of previous knowledge, beliefs and aspirations to shape Le Corbusier’s architectural experience of the Kasbah.


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