An atrium refers to an open space several stories high. The roof is glazed. Often it has enormous windows installed. Usually the atrium is located within a building. It is positioned just past the main entrance. The plural of atrium is atria.
Atriums come in different sizes. The tallest atrium is that of the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. It is 180 m (5.m (590 ft) tall. The largest is the one at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada at 29 million cubic feet (820,000 m³).
The Atrium at Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia is five stories high. The atrium at the Shanghai Grand Hyatt is 32 stories high. It is a component of the Jin Mao Building.
The Grand Doubletree hotel/condo has an atrium 42 stories high. It is in downtown Miami. Other well known atriums are those at New York State Theater at Lincoln Center and Grand Piazza atrium of the SuperStar Virgo.
The Tucson High Galleria is known not just for the atrium dimensions but its style. The contemporary atrium has an open roof and four support columns.
Other remarkable atriums are of Gould Hall, College of Architecture and Urban Planning in Washington and Atrium of Complexe Desjardins in Canada.
One of the finest examples of modern atriums in Kapan is the one at Kurayoshi Park Square at Kurayoshi. Good examples of 19th century atria are Victoria Hall and the atrium roof both in Halifax Town. They date from 1863.
Origin and History
The Latin word denoted an open center court. This is where the enclosed area would lead off. During the Roman Empire it was known as the domus. The shallow pool deep into the floor was called the impluvium. It was used to hold rainwater.
Many remnants have survived and they show different atrium dimensions were used. Many of the artifacts are elaborately decorated. The ceiling had openings which suggested support of some kind.
The atrium was the showpiece in many houses. Testament to this was the elaborate decoration. Aside from various furnishings, the atrium also held the chapel dedicated to the ancestral spirits (lararium). A bust of the homeowner was included. The house safe (called carca) was also found there quite often.
The word atrium was also applied to different spaces in religious temples and public buildings. The atrium was used to refer to various kinds of arcaded courtyards. These were much bigger than the ones found at homes.
Excavations show that Byzantine churches were centered in these structures. The same can be said for mosques in the Middle East. However, the term atrium is not used there.
The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century allowed for the manufacture of glass and iron. This enabled courtyards to have horizontal glazing. This allowed the atriums to assume the forms that we know today.
As technology and architecture evolved, atrium dimensions changed. Today they are considered part and parcel of many offices. The reason for their popularity is it gives offices a sense of space and beauty not present before.