Rotundas, unlike a standard hallway, are more than a means of getting from room "A" to room "B". They signify a "shift" of some sort, they may be the cog between public and private spaces, formal and informal, or serve as a vestibule that subliminally tells the person passing through to shift gears.
In my own work, I've found them to be a necessity in some cases--in the renovation of two large ranch houses, a rotunda served as a hub for bringing together what would otherwise have been a serpentine collision of hallways leading from old parts of the house to new. The rotundas we included in those renovations gave relief to the bowling-alley effect we would have otherwise had.
I've also used the idea of a rotunda in master suites, where the round shape served as a perfect convergence for the master bedroom, bath, and closets, and made for a very special dressing area.
I can trace my own rotunda fetish to a pretty dreadful movie from the early 90's. Anyone willing to take a guess at what movie this rotunda was featured in?
|Love the inlay in the floor!|
|Photo by Blayne Beacham. If you aren't following her blog, you should be!|
This one is elongated rather than a perfect circle. The coved ceiling and trimwork are stunning. I don't know where this one is, but it has the feel of a fine pre-war apartment.
And, finally, in this house designed by Stephen Fuller and built by Gabriel Builders, a paneled rotunda with built in bookshelves serves as a vestibule in the master suite:
|Photo by TJ Getz|