Post 507 – by Gautam Shah
Masking is an overlay over any opening like a window, door or gap. The overlay could be an additional system, opportunistic exploitation of surroundings, or an arrangement of perception. The masking of opening is a facilitation through transitional delay in time and space creating partial or complete disguise through shielding, blurring, selective camouflage or obscuration. Functionally, transitions through the openings are controlled, directed or curtailed through with use physical elements and effects are added or subtracted by sensory processes.
Primary masking occurs, on how an opening is framed within a barrier system. The opening occurs as a cut, puncture, or cleavage within a barrier, or at the overlapping edges of two barriers. Masking becomes effective with the scale of the opening in comparison to the size or extent of the barrier. A smaller opening and an extensive barrier, both create an ’imposing’ framing’. The framing of built openings need a heading or lintel, and to support the head and super structures, sides are abutted with additional structures. Such side structures or portals add to the framing of the opening. Built opening require controller of transitions like ‘shutters’, and these require jambs, frames or stoppers. In arched and angled portals, for functional reasons door framing structures are square headed, creating shape-masking. The shutter devices have some technological limitations like a door cannot be two wide, or else it sags or deforms. It cannot be too extensive in size as the wood or metals did not permit very large shutters. These factors imposed scale-masking.
Natural and built gaps gain importance on what view they frame. The view could be the rising or setting sun, a mountain range or valley beyond, a water body, or a plaza, street or roof tops. Where such views are not straight aligned or perfectly frontal, the viewing position is architecturally adjusted or furniture layout is attuned to it. The view curiosity is build up by denying the view till one arrives at the perfect place. The masking of view out or inward is done through real or make-believe depths formed by repetition of series of identical, receding or increasing frames. Such multiple masking frames occur in colonnades, corridors, passages, avenues and walkways.