Peter Zumthor: Thinking Architecture: feeling & reason

“The design process is based on a constant interplay of feeling [RIGHT] and reason [LEFT]. The feelings, preferences, longings and desires that emerge and demand to be given a form must be controlled by critical powers of reasoning, but is is our feelings that tell us whether abstract considerations really ring true.  To a large degree, designing is based on understanding and establishing systems of order.  Yet I believe that the essential substance of the architecture we seek proceeds from feeling and insight.  Precious moments of intuition result from patient work.  With the sudden emergence of an inner image, a new line in a drawing, the whole design changes and is newly formulated within a fraction of a second.  It is as if a powerful drug were suddenly taking effect.  Everything I knew before about the thing I am creating is flooded by a bright new light.  I experience joy and passion, and something deep inside me seems to affirm: ‘ I want to build this house!’  …  Form [RIGHT] and construction [LEFT], appearance [RIGHT] and function [LEFT] are no longer separate.  They belong together and form a whole.”

[ZUMTHOR Peter, Thinking Architecture, Birkhauser, 2006]


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