Is there a word for the space between two high buildings?

Just in case someone would like to translate the german word “Häuserschluchten”, which literally means houses chasms. Any takers?

Stock options?

Gap implies a space between two objects, but it’s not specific to object types. Usually you’d have to specify what the gap is between so you might as well use space. People knowledgeable about GIS or work in urban development might have a word that’s more technical. That’s my guess, but there’s professional word smiths around here that will probably give you better advice.

Edit: Actually, gap can also mean a space in one object, like the hole in a donut. I have no clue what you’d use. : /

Ideally, it should have a gritty, noir-like connotation. But that is probably too much to ask.

If you’re using this for something you’re writing, why do you need a specific word? Just describe it.

The flashing neon signs below hinted at the cracked stonework and faded paint higher up the wall of the Shit Bonerz Hotel. The apartment building across the alley, without lights at street level, slumped in the shadows.

Or something. IANAW.

It’s for a translation.

It’s an “interstice”.

I believe it’s the “whoah”.

You’re a real asshole, Superman.

God I love the Germans. They can make up words for anything.

Seriously though, it’s not a specific word for it, but the word I most often see used to describe downtown spaces between skyscrapers is canyons.


As a translator, I’m sure you’re aware of this, but lots of German words are best rendered in English as combinations of words or even whole phrases.

According to magnetic_rose, who is currently translating an entire company’s shit into German, this literally is translated to mean “house canyons.” This refers to narrow streets and walkways between very tall buildings. For example: “The oxygen-robbing street canyons of New York City.”

It’s a really good moment of writing? Or am I misremembering the word…

I don’t know of any specific words for that. I guess I would use “chasm between the skyscrapers” for it.

Alley? Is there something I’m missing here?

The best I can come up with this late would be a phrase like: the slits between skyscrapers. Which could also, I suppose, refer to prostitutes working the business end of town. Although, noir guys do love their prostitutes.

Well he did say that the literal translation is ‘house chasm’, which I also think is more precise, so it’s not understanding the word that’s troubling him - it’s coming up with a good English phrase.

But as others said, some german words are best done as a wordy ‘explanation’. Or get enough clever people to use the actual word, so you don’t have to translate it: Ie Schadenfreude, bildungsroman or ombudsmand (not German - I know).

In college, we always called such an area a “wind tunnel” because of the strength of the wind you’d feel whilst walking between such buildings. There was an area on campus with four high rise residences and going by there could be hell on your umbrella.

No, it’s
[URL=""]"1. An intervening space.

  1. A small or narrow space or interval between things or parts, esp. when one of a series of alternating uniform spaces and parts: the interstices between the slats of a fence."