I believe it was the 9th Earl of Hall (my mind plays tricks, it may
have been the Duke of Earl) created the first interior passageway to
get from his dining table (where he ate meat with his fingers) to the
gambling table in the back of the house (that's how they did it back
den) without having to cross the path of She Who Must Be Obeyed.
Back in the 18th C rooms were traditionally rather large (thinks Hall
of Mirrors). Due to the pressures urban development (read wars
recession and labor shortages), it wasnt possible to keep building
outwards as before.
Hence they started sub-dividing the big room.
The bit left over was considered to be part of going all the
Or maybe it was a hell of a way to about renovating.
The rest is history.
Been long enough ago that I don't remember. You might have a look at
Rybczynski's "Home". Another interesting place to look would be the various
books on vernacular architecture to see if Vern ever did it. Trying to think
back to my childhood toddling about the ancient houses of New England, I'm
not coming up with anything to contradict. I'm willing to take a stab at a
gut reaction being "they probably did become _common_ at that time." First
guess is that heating issues were the primary limiting factor.
The poster who mentioned the Hall of Mirrors (while giving a fairly atypical
example of building) does bring up the idea of looking at different classes
for building types. Probably three tiers of society is enough even though at
the era we'd be looking - 16th, 17th Cs - more distinctions were cropping
up. If, as I posit, heating is an issue in hallway use (think shared room,
shared chiney mass)(chimneys are also a structural/building issue) then
expect people who can afford more heating and support structures to be able
to use hallways earlier.
Is the side aisle in a gothic cathedral a "hallway"? A cloister? I suspect
you might find earlier inventions of the hallway in a religious setting.
Lots of people living in a monastery - if even a number of the seniors get a
cell of their very own you might find need for a hallway. Brings up:
hallways increase privacy so you'll need people who value/need privacy
(again Rybczynski may be helpful. This sense of how people live and used
their ... privately held buildings occupies much of his history). Brings up:
hallways are between things differentiated.
Without hallways, domestic spaces were built (even at the "merchant" level)
with many rooms on one level but connected directly with a pleasing view
through a series of doors.
There may be part of an answer in the word "hall" (as opposed to the word
"corridor" which I don't know anythign about) as it relates to "big room".
You may find a transition from the single big hall to the single big hall
with a few auxiliary rooms off of it (sleeping chamber, office of the lord)
through a shrinking of the hall from "a place where all of life happens" to
"a place where we stand around and admire each other's clothes and do
business deals over coffee" (see this grow to the specialized "ball room").
Then as business moves out of the home the hall becomes even less hall and
more way. OR the circulatory aspect takes over and a new big room is built.
I don't think you'll find any joy looking for an increase in household size
as a primary factor. I think you'd find that household size is decreasing as
the hallway comes to the fore.
I suspect gallery graves don't count. (Third party mentions Egyptian tomb
entries. Similar configuration tunnel to rooms. In particular re: Egyptian,
iirc, once you get to rooms you get rooms w/ doors and now hallway in
particular. I'm suspecting we can't look there for early hallway influence.
Brings up Egyptian temples. Again, I think (you should double check) we're
talking processional way and once rooms start happening then we're in to
rooms. Similar processionals or porches may be seen in Greek and Indian
temple forms. Wonder if they are related. Glass one in and >pting< you've
got a hallway. First suspicion - no.)
Check Japanese floor plans. I'm recalling some spaces that might qualify for
"hallway" status at Katsura. Though that might give you an "early first"
date it wouldn't likely be useful in terms of "evolution of western
Maybe look north. Single loaded hallway with solar gain on one side. Without
a need for solar gain, a star shaped arrangement off a central main room
would suffice (came to me pondering trulli homes).
That's all for now.
Nope: primarily accessed through the arches from the nave, and ready-
made to be partitioned off as side chapels if somebody paid for the
work and a chantry priest to go with it.
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Definitely. Single-loaded corridor.
Architectural and topographical historian
I wonder if the modern domestic adoptation of the hallway came about
from the colonisation of countries with hot climates.
There the hallway is used to ventilate the house, something that was
not neccessary in European countries.
As the size of houses grew in Europe, due to wealth, so a means of
linking all the new fangled rooms was needed.
Returning colonialists used the hallway to do this.
My 2c's worth.
Good idea. I think the answer is "hell no" ;-)
I don't think so. Hallways enclose space. If you have a house that is as
open on the outside as possible with maximum cross ventilation on the
interior you can take advantage of whatever air movement there is (think
colonial bungaloe)(hot wet stormy). Add hallways and you start restricting
and blocking movement. The other way is to open a courtyard. Some nice
multistory urban houses in India that go... back a way. Balconys to the
courtyard, I think. There will be an entry tunnel from the street. But that
goes back to gallery graves and "doesn't count" I don't think (see similar
behaviours in Norman castle layouts).
Speaking of Norman castles, a spiral stair up one corner tower with a room
off it at each level is like a hallway in function only oriented
differently. But I don't imagine you'll find that a source.
You've got a hallway and you've got doors and in rooms big areas of blank
wall where you're proposing moving air (from the "room" into the
"hall/chimney"). Also the hallway greatly restricts the most efficent
direction of ventilation. "Mommy, I'm hawwwwt." "Well pray to the Baby Jesus
to shift the wind around 15 more degrees to the north."
Other hot climates (say, Phoenix) you don't want ventilation, you want too
keep what cool air you grabbed in the evening to sit around inside your
thick walled small opening adobe block as long as possible.
Been mentioned already but restressing that doorways directly between rooms
were used. Even in long sequences. By lining them up, I think the "ancients"
have told us they liked the effect and weren't necessarily in the market to
avoid it. At least, not at the time they were doing it. Tastes change.
If by "hallways" you mean corridors off which individual rooms are
accessed, it's not really a straight line. (Is it ever??)
On the one hand, "room-to-room" access -- without an adjacent corridor
-- is certainly still found in high-level design in the early 1500s:
the "good rooms" (technical sense) of Hampton Court Palace don't have
On the other hand, mediaeval cloisters functioned as single-loaded
corridors, and I know of houses of the mid 1400s where that model was
adopted on upper as well as ground floors for an entirely
domestic/secular building. (It was pretty cutting-edge design at the
"18th century" sounds much too late to me, but I'd guess that whilst
corridors were around for centuries, they weren't widely adopted in
domestic layouts until the 17th century.
Architectural and topographical historian
Depends what you mean by 'hallway'.
According to the dictionary:
'hall' has its roots in old high German and old Norse, and has several
meanings, on of which being the main hall of a medieval castle.
'hallway' came about in the US in 1875-1880, as a variation of corridor
'corridor' in English came about in 1580s from middle French from upper
Italian 'corridore', a compound of 'currere' and 'itorium' (run+place
Exterior single or double loaded corridors happened the moment you had
a main path between vendor stalls in the market place.
The Greek Agora is a single loaded exterior arcade.
Large Roman buildings had large halls and connecting passageways
(especially structures like the Coliseum).
The central courtyard in a Roman villa was a single loaded corridor as
I'm sure the idea goes back even further than Roman architecture, and
probably even further than Egyptian architecture (the hallways in
pyramids leading to tombs.)
As a term meaning a corridor connecting various sleeping
room/bathrooms, it was probably done that way even the 15th century in
large villas/ palaces/ castles, and before (medieval rowhouses in Italy
had hallways of a sort leading from front to back.)
The 1875 date is a good indicator of when the space became 'common' in
US residential construction for the average person.
http://louisabrown.net/Chatsworth.htm (about halfway down, the sketch
Couldn't find any interior representations of Hardwick Hall which I
understand has a great hall of just the transitional type I described in an
earlier post. Check your library.
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