In OASE's 91st edition, Building Atmospheres, the elusive craft of creating, capturing and understanding 'atmosphere' in architecture is explored in a carefully chosen collection of themed essays by Peter Zumthor, Juhani Pallasmaa and philosopher Gernot Böhme. Zumthor, famous for his 1996 text Atmospheres, identifies and discusses "a series of themes that play a role in his work in achieving architectonic atmosphere". Alongside this, the OASE team have visited his studio and interviewed him about the current relevance of his writing and how he captures 'atmosphere' in his design process.
What do we mean when we speak of architectural quality? It is a question that I have little difficulty in answering. Quality in architecture … is to me when a building manages to move me. What on earth is it that moves me? How can I get it into my own work? … How do people design things with such a beautiful, natural presence, things that move me every single time. One word for it is Atmosphere.
Alongside Zumthor's writing is an excellent interview with Juhani Pallasmaa entitled Atmosphere, Compassion and Embodied Experience, demonstrating Pallasmaa's profound understanding of the wider cultural world we live in - a wider cultural world that some architects seem to forget when absorbed in design. Gernot Böhme's more theoretical texts are just as accessible and offer a thought provoking approach to capturing atmosphere in physical construction.
OASE is an independent peer-reviewed journal for architecture based in the Netherlands. You can order this particular issue or subscribe for an extended period of time here. You can also read Peter Zumthor's Seven Personal Observations on Presence in Architecture and Christopher N. Henry's Tactile Architecture: Does it Matter? on ArchDaily.