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Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture

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From the author’s preface: The present book forms a sequel to…Intentions in Architecture and Existence, Space and Architecture. It also relates to…Meaning in Western Architecture. Common to all of them is the view that architecture represents a means to give man an “existential foothold”…The philosophy of Heidegger has been the catalyst which has made the present book From the author’s preface: The present book forms a sequel to…Intentions in Architecture and Existence, Space and Architecture. It also relates to…Meaning in Western Architecture. Common to all of them is the view that architecture represents a means to give man an “existential foothold”…The philosophy of Heidegger has been the catalyst which has made the present book possible and determined its approach. The wish for understanding architecture as a concrete phenomenon…could be satisfied in the present book…thanks to Heidegger’s essays on language and aesthetics. Man dwells when he can orient himself within and identify himself with an environment, or, in short, when he experiences the environment as meaningful. Dwelling therefore implies something more than “shelter”. It implies that the spaces where life occurs are places, in the true sense of the word. A place is a space which has a distinct character. Since ancient times the genius loci, or “spirit of place”, has been recognized as the concrete reality man has to face and come to terms with in his daily life. Architecture means to visualize the genius loci, and the task of the architect is to create meaningful places, whereby he helps man to dwell.


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From the author’s preface: The present book forms a sequel to…Intentions in Architecture and Existence, Space and Architecture. It also relates to…Meaning in Western Architecture. Common to all of them is the view that architecture represents a means to give man an “existential foothold”…The philosophy of Heidegger has been the catalyst which has made the present book From the author’s preface: The present book forms a sequel to…Intentions in Architecture and Existence, Space and Architecture. It also relates to…Meaning in Western Architecture. Common to all of them is the view that architecture represents a means to give man an “existential foothold”…The philosophy of Heidegger has been the catalyst which has made the present book possible and determined its approach. The wish for understanding architecture as a concrete phenomenon…could be satisfied in the present book…thanks to Heidegger’s essays on language and aesthetics. Man dwells when he can orient himself within and identify himself with an environment, or, in short, when he experiences the environment as meaningful. Dwelling therefore implies something more than “shelter”. It implies that the spaces where life occurs are places, in the true sense of the word. A place is a space which has a distinct character. Since ancient times the genius loci, or “spirit of place”, has been recognized as the concrete reality man has to face and come to terms with in his daily life. Architecture means to visualize the genius loci, and the task of the architect is to create meaningful places, whereby he helps man to dwell.

30 review for Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture

  1. 4 out of 5

    Duc

    Christian draws a lot on Heidegger’s essay 'Building, Thinking, and Dwells'. This essay is included in HeideggerBasic Writings 2nd Edition, Revised & Expanded. Christian extracts certain passages such as the explanation of a bridge as a presence to draw together the two banks of a river much as a building will draw into different reference points of the landscape. In fact, it is the location of a building not it's points in space of a Cartesian grid that gives it place; the location and the Christian draws a lot on Heidegger’s essay 'Building, Thinking, and Dwells'. This essay is included in HeideggerBasic Writings 2nd Edition, Revised & Expanded. Christian extracts certain passages such as the explanation of a bridge as a presence to draw together the two banks of a river much as a building will draw into different reference points of the landscape. In fact, it is the location of a building not it's points in space of a Cartesian grid that gives it place; the location and the reference to the surrounding landscape that is the main concern. There has been a resurgence of phenomenology in architecture. Peter Zumthor and Steven Holl are two propionates of it. Christian is a pioneer in drawing the cross discipline of philosophy into the architectural discussion. He was the first to talk about this. That being said, it's not a dry dull book about architecture and philosophy but a poetic illustration both in the writings and the photographs of iconic and quaint places.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Safiya

    So valuable ! To re-read ! Three case studies were considered : Prague, Khartoum (Tuti), and Rome. " To understand the genius loci of a place does not mean to copy old models. It means to determine the identity of the place and to interpret it in ever new ways. " P.S : One cannot fully and easily assimilate it if not in good terms with Heideger, Hegel, and Ricoeur philosophy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    mahatmanto

    gimana-gimana, norberg-schulz selalu kembali ke heidegger. atau merleau-ponty, para bapak persepsi fenomenologis. juga dalam buku ini, filsafat fenomenologi sangat mewarnai pembacaannya mengenai 'ruh suatu tempat', 'baureksa' [bahasa jawa: kekuatan penjaga]. wacana 'ruh suatu tempat' ini pernah [dan masih?] mewarnai produksi pengetahuan arsitektur.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Holden Rasmussen

    Norberg-Schulz has a poor interpretation of Heidegger, and never questions the methodological move he makes in transforming his reading of Heidegger into the phenomenology of architecture. The most glaring failures are his misreading of dwelling [Wohnen] as synonymous with "meaningful living" and his ignorance of Heidegger's critique of lived experience [Erlebnisse].

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tasnim Hussam

    it's a smooth reading enjoyed how it was detailing each city in different way made me go through google earth to feel it though ..

  6. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I have to read it again. I cannot remember much. I know I quoted it in some papers I wrote in University.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    So much potential; so little substance.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    This book is a amazing and is now my belief on how we should design the built environment.

  9. 5 out of 5

    ศุทธิรัตน์ โดดยิ้ม

  10. 4 out of 5

    San Concas

  11. 4 out of 5

    عادل الزهراني

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ng Wee

  13. 5 out of 5

    Yashraj Donga

  14. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

  15. 4 out of 5

    Silje

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mellah

  17. 4 out of 5

    Fernando Murillo

  18. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Pritchard

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rozafa

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kartikeya Sonkar

  21. 5 out of 5

    roz_anthi

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nikita Potapenko

  23. 4 out of 5

    Inn

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bartha Istvan

  25. 4 out of 5

    Parisa Rahimzadeh

  26. 4 out of 5

    Julie

  27. 4 out of 5

    Oana

  28. 5 out of 5

    David Young

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sowmya

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ouldouz Fazlali

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