31 October 2010

Readings - "Atmospheres" by Peter Zumthor

A lecture delivered by Peter Zumthor on 1 June 2003 at the <Kunstscheune>, Wendinghausen Castle, <Wege durch das Land> Festival of Literature and Music in East-Westphalia-Lippe.

"Atmospheres - Architectural Environments . Surrounding Objects" by Peter Zumthor, published by Birkhauser

It is such a pleasure to read the thinking of Zumthor, recipient of Pritzker Architecture Prize 2009. Because the book material was a lecture, it feels as though I was talking to (or "talked by") Zumthor directly.  The poetic dialogue was somehow rhythmical and flows from one chapter to the next.

My favorite part is under <Coherence> on page 69:
... the idea of things coming into their own, of finding themselves, because they have become the thing they actually set out to be.  Architecture, after all, is made for our use.  It is not a free art in that sense. ... And it is at its most beautiful when things have come into their own, when they are coherent.  That is when everything refers to everything else and it is impossible to remove a single thing without destroying the whole.  Place, use and form.  The form reflects the place, the place is just so, and the use reflects this and that.

Peter Zumthor (for the curious) is famous for these buildings:

Therme Vals, Switzerland

Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria

Kolumba Museum, Germany

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