RELATED TERMS: Liminal Spaces; Reception theory and reader response criticism

A threshold is the entrance to a building, or sometimes a transition from one space to another.

The threshold is the point at which we move from one space, state, set of ideas or view to another. Before we cross the threshold, we are outside. After we cross, we are inside. That is, we have entered a different world. Usually, but not always, when we stand at the threshold we can see what we are entering.

Thresholds are important in the design of narrative environments. Such designs often ask the audience to move from one world to another when moving from one space to another.

Thresholds and threshold moments have to be carefully designed as they are so important to the succeeding experience.

Flora Samuel (2010) discusses the use of thresholds, and their role in dis-orientating and re-orientating, by Le Corbusier.


Samuel, F. (2010) Le Corbusier and the architectural promenade. Basel, CH: Birkhauser.