Transparency is one of the most important and still controversial in terms of contemporary architecture. Many expressions or architectural expressions have been expressed within itself and are still being continued. Colin Rowe and Robert Slutzky, through their transparency with their “Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal”, have succeeded in bringing a very new perspective to modern architecture. This new viewpoint has opened up a new dimension by adding the angle of the previous viewpoint. That is to say, literal transparency is described by Rowe and Slutzky on the surface quality by advocating a light architecture where everything is quite clear through the transparency of the material and the surface quality (Rowe & Slutzky, 1982). For example, it is closely related to the transparency of a material, and the fact that all the events and circumstances behind it are revealed by literal transparency. On the other hand, it is aimed that transparency, in fact, is always a curiosity and ambiguity, since this is not enough expression and a transparency over a new spatial organization. Transparency entails wider spatial order rather than being an optical feature. Transparency means the recognizing the different spatial and spatial organization (Rowe & Slutzky, 1982). The main purpose of this paper is to study spatial stratification by taking Rowe and Slutzky’s article as the main reference and the advantages of spatial stratification to spatial organization and spatial transparency through case studies. These case studies; Bauhaus by Walter Gropius in terms of literal transparency that implies the material and surface quality, On the other side, examples are designed by Mies Van Der Rohe, Barcelona Pavillion is one of the best-known examples of contemporary architecture through spatial layering. Other examples are Jean Nouvel’s Fondation Cartier, Adolf Loos’s Villa Müller. Samples will generally be tried to be addressed through spatial transparency, with reference to phenomenal transparency.
Fondation Cartier is designed by Jean Nouvel in Paris 1994 which is one of the earlier buildings of the architect uses the same self-sacrifice as the surface transparency and precision of Nouvel’s recent designed constructions. There is a designed play with the indoor and outdoor is very convenient because it creates an openness that invites people to experience both near and remote buildings . The “play” to be told is spatially sensed and actually defines a space between the actual structure and the vertical steel construction surfaces. The spatial organization defined by the layering of these surfaces is also felt as a “play”. Both the layering of surfaces that reference this spatial organization of steel surface structures of ambiguous transparency that playing with the perception of spatial organization and the easy readability of the back to back scenario using highly transparent materials and matrices are examples of the literal and phenomenal transparency of Colin Rowe and Robert Slutzky. In fact, when examined in the plane of the building plan, the steel surfaces near the road are aligned to the starting line of the structures on the other two sides of the ground. This could be one of the spatial games of phenomenal transparency. The green space is defined between the main structure and these steel structures and is actually located as a structure within the structure. In other words, it was made as a green space, with the usual walls and enclosed spaces. Transparency of space in space. The intervening and defined green space actually offers an invitation to people and this layering contributes to the spatial organization.
By connecting, layering, and revealing the private spaces can be implied in the building as a number of actions the life style of the users become open means transparent. The dialogue between inhabitants and space can develop .
“Transparency means a simultaneous perception of different spatial locations. Space not only recedes but fluctuates in a continuous activity” (Kepes quoted in Rowe & Slutzky, 1982) . As Rowe and Slutzky also refer to in their articles, transparency must go beyond just being expressed by a material. An explanation of this is over the phenomenal transparency. In this discussion/paper it is aimed to examine the structures by making spatial organizations together with layers of surfaces. One of these examples is the Barcelona Pavilion, a structure that Mies Van Der Rohe has created through the labyrinthine walls and even behind these walls, an area that can be perceived as an example of layering over phenomenal transparency. The building built in Germany, 1929. The stratification seen in Mies’s Barcelona Pavilion is spatially reshaped, and this stratification adds spatial enrichment. The opaque walls come after each other with shift-like operations, giving clues about a back space. Also, most importantly, it is the purpose of the human being to perceive that it is a space behind that opaque wall. This purpose actually provides a very effective perception even though it is made with several opaque surfaces, ie walls. This perception and transparency achieved by stratification can be seen as a clear example of phenomenal transparency. That is, these two-dimensional situations, opaque surfaces, are not capable of creating space on their own. Layer and depth are the norm . The phenomenal of transparency in the background is as far as the literal transparency is concerned. The pavilion’s front is made entirely of transparent glass and can be said to be very effective in reflection. The two transparencies that Rowe and Slutzky try to describe can be seen as appropriate. Because the real thing that Rowe and Slutzky argue is that transparency is not enough with just the material. Transparency must be able to beyond from the transcend material what is advocated in this new discourse.
Another example of the processing of phenomenal transparency is Villa Müller, designed by Adol Loos in 1927-1928. Spatial continuity is made not by the elimination of the walls, but by the vignettes towards the wide openings and framing . Despite being designed almost fifty years ago by Villa Müller, Colin Rowe, and Robert Slutzky’s article, it is still a good example of phenomenal transparency. Arranging the opaque walls behind each other and shifting them by a certain measure shifts the observer to the observer in the background, despite the use of opaque materials in the background, which is not actually exposed with literal transparency. Spatial layering also provides spatial continuity. The diagonal section of this structure can be clearly seen. It is possible to see this spatial organization, which is gained from the layering, from the plans and the perspective collages.
To sum up, transparency is one of the core concepts of architecture and key design tools. Colin Rowe and Robert Slutzky have come to a new perspective on transparency and modern architecture, explaining what is known as literal transparency are not enough that everything that does not provoke any curiosity is clear enough easily perceivable, and that transparency must be explained by the spatial organization in fact transparency. Spatial stratification, that is, using opaque materials, and shifting only those opaque materials, framing the spaces behind, was a new perspective to bring transparency to the formation of the spatial organization to observer/human. This new point of view also adds new things to transparency. Transparency over spatial organization has been tried to be done with layers and stratification as well as case studies.
- Colin Rowe & Robert Slutzky, Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal, 1982.
- Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal, February 2, 2012.
 Megan Sveiven, AD Classics: Fondation Cartier / Jean Nouvel, October 26, 2010.
- Bobbi Maclennan, Implied Transparency: A Layering of Spaces, 2011.
- –  Transparency II: Layering of Planes / Layering of Spaces, February 24, 2011.
- Duygu Tüntaş, Layering as a Method of De-coding: House II by Peter Eisenman, METU, 2017.