Cinematic and Architectonic Space in Tarkovsky's Solaris

Blayne Fulton, Gul Kacmaz Erk

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Architecture plays an important role in Andrei Tarkovsky’s films in defining the atmosphere of a space and memory of a place. This paper is a study of how the settings in Tarkovsky’s Solaris (1972) are used to provoke and convey feelings to the audience through architectonic space depicting the city, library, home and aspects of the home such as paintings and mirrors. The rooms depicted in Solaris (Fig. 1) are filled with symbolism and detail. They are imbued with a poetic quality rarely seen in cinema. The everyday places of city, library and home in Solaris are given an emotional depth not usually found in these spaces in reality. Solaris is an anomaly among Tarkovsky’s films in that the majority of the narrative takes place in an enclosed built set. Rarely do Tarkovsky spaces exert so much control over the actors’ movements within a meticulously designed and detailed set. This paper analyses how the director uses constructed sets in Solaris to confront our perception of memories, dreams and reality.
    The intent of this study is to gain better understanding of the link between architecture and other art forms such as painting and cinema through spatial analysis. This study also relates to our imagination and how we perceive architectonic space portrayed through cinematic images. The architectural theory of Juhani Pallasmaa forms the basis of this paper.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)27-38
    Number of pages12
    JournalThe International Journal of Arts Theory and History
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Bibliographical note



    • Architectonic Space
    • Cinematic Space
    • Andrei Tarkovsky
    • Solaris


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