Reading: Peter Zumthor – Atmospheres

Peter Zumthor – Atmospheres

“Atmosphere is an aesthetic category to Peter Zumthor. “

The author finds that the quality in Architecture is not about the academic studies, but rather on whether the building is able to touch people. What makes it touching is a complex blend of many properties that requires an amount of work and thought in it. The reading breaks down on what makes an architecture moving.

“We perceive atmosphere through our emotional sensibility”

I think it’s true that we sense a space with out emotional sensibility at the first instance we step into a space. We can sense the eeriness in a dark street unlike the romantic candlelit room; despite both being dimly lit spaces. There are special properties in each spaces that needs to be broken down for us to understand how certain properties can create different feelings.

  • the physical body of architecture — architecture collects different things in the world, different materials combined to create a space. kind of anatomy
  • Material compatibility — different possibilities of material usage. Objects / materials in reference to one another. complimentary, can cause a change in spatial
  • The Sound of a Space — sound transmission within a space needs to be considered. Personality.
  • The Temperature of a Space — how warm or cold the space feels, which can be altered by the materials used
  • Surrounding Objects — people, their objects, and things placed around.
  • Between Composure and Seduction — people move through space. Bring separate parts together, people form their own attachments. Some spaces make some feel that they can stay, some is just passing through.
  • Tension between interior and exterior — exterior is to be shown to everyone while interior is private. What do i want to see me or someone else using the building later.
  • Levels of Intimacy — proximity and distance. Size, latches and connecting bits, doors. Interior can be intimate even when exterior is intimidating
  • The Light on Things — lighting in a room and shadows. Think about the lighting in a room while designing it. Daylight vs artificial light.

A few takeaway I can find in relation to our course is that the atmosphere of the space should be considered deeply in order for us to setup a successful interactive space. Using the properties above, we are able to (at least) understand the properties and apply it in our considerations when designing an interactive space.

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