Enfilade: an interconnected group of rooms arranged usually in a row with each room opening into the next - Merriam-Webster
I was eleven years old when I first traveled around Europe for my classical dance performances. Visiting some of the greatest cities - London, Wales, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam et al and usually the day after a performance, I was whisked away by the families and friends who were our hosts and given a tour of the city. These tours often included some of the local palaces and gardens. Although I couldn't understand the significance then or appreciate the full history and architecture of the places I visited, I do remember feeling an awe at the grandeur and ornamentation and particularly remember enjoying the vast spaces and the room after room after room that I could see through in one length and run back and forth to the dismay of my parents. Little did I know the important architectural concept that would in many ways quite literally shape my life.
In my early twenties, one of the first words I learnt in architecture and design and still love is - the enfilade. Wikipedia has a nice definition of it - in architecture, an enfilade is a suite of rooms formally aligned with each other. This was a common feature in grand European architecture from the Baroque period onward, although there are earlier examples, such as the Vatican stanze. The doors entering each room are aligned with the doors of the connecting rooms along a single axis, providing a vista through the entire suite of rooms. The enfilade may be used as a processional route and is a common arrangement in museums and art galleries, as it facilitates the movement of large numbers of people through a building.
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