Atmospheres

PDF EBook by Peter Zumthor

EBook Description

It’s always a pleasure to listen to smart people talk. Atmospheres PDF EBook It’s an even greater pleasure to read them. Atmospheres is such a book by Peter Zumthor, containing the architect’s lecture on architecture and its intricate relationship with atmosphere. The book, despite being brief, is brimming with passion and ideas that will make you rethink architecture and space.

The first thing that struck me about this book was how easy and accessible it was. Zumthor’s lecture was to the point, used no jargon, and was easy to understand for people like me who are not into architecture. It inspires the reader, and the lucky listeners who were there, to take a look around themselves and take note of the spaces, buildings, surroundings, environment, light—everything—and how they figure into our existences.

Zumthor begins by addressing what exactly is quality architecture: “Quality architecture to me is when a building manages to move me… How do people design things with such a beautiful, natural presence, things that move me every single time.” I felt that was a strong introduction to his lecture and a good indicator of his thoughts. He then begins discussing the act of existing and first impressions, connecting them with architecture and our views towards it. His thesis is compelling and thought- PDFprovoking.

Another great point he makes is about the presence, or rather the absence, of sound in buildings and places. We subconsciously associate people and places with specific sounds. It is something that I’d never thought about before, and it got me thinking about the places I had been to and the places that I’d stayed in. Another brilliant point that he makes is the “art of seduction” in architecture. He talks about functionality of hospital corridors, where people are guided towards a specific direction. More importantly, however, he discusses letting people roam around freely. He deliberates over the “voyage of discovery” that architecture provides for those in buildings, letting them “stroll at will—just drifting along.”

He also has a lot to say about the juxtaposition between the interior and exterior. I can’t help but cite him on this:
“…the almost imperceptible transition between the inside and the outside, an incredible sense of place, an unbelievable feeling of concentration when we suddenly become aware of being enclosed, of something enveloping us, keeping us together, holding us—whether we be many or single… Architecture knows this and uses it.”
Finally, he moves on to surroundings and the impact of memory on the importance of a place. He carefully considers how memory is used to locate buildings and architecture in peoples’ minds. I thought it was a fascinating hypothesis, and I thought about my memories regarding old homes. I feel he makes a strong case, though I’d have to read more before I can make a reasonably educated conclusion.

The only problem I can find with the book is its format. Lectures don’t translate very well to writing. Sections of the book feel superfluous; download; it could do with tighter editing. Some of the pictures, though they look great, don’t seem to relate well with the text and can often be distracting.

So, what can I say: I loved Atmospheres. It has kindled in me love and respect for architecture and space that I didn’t have before. Zumthor raises some very good points. I guess this book is aimed towards architecture students and enthusiasts, but I feel this is something everyone should read if they want some perspective on space, sound, light, memories, and everything else that makes our surroundings what they are. Like this book? Read online this: Great Architecture Of The World, Super Minds American English Level 4 Teacher's Resource Book with Audio CD.

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