Contextual study point 1.1: Atmosphere in Architecture

Key practitioners of atmosphere in architecture or design are Hans Van Der Laan, Tadao Ando, Peter Zumthor, Daniel Libeskind, Olafur Eliasson and Ernesto Nathan Rogers.

I will research and critically reflect on some of these key thinkers by finding some of their work and analyse the techniques they use to incorporate atmosphere in their interiors.

Firstly I will start with Tadao Ando who believes that “architecture is something to be experienced with all five senses – not just the eyes.” He believes in the theory of pure geometry which means essentially to design a building to such perfection that it doesn’t just look beautiful, but allows viewers to experience every element of a structure’s surroundings. In his designs he wants people to rediscover natural and subconscious elements like wind and light. These aesthetics come from the philosophy of zen buddhism, an appreciation of beauty in its simplest form. Even though his work is concrete bareness they all carry a beauty that reflects in his passion for the Japanese traditional culture. (Dayman, 2019)

Secondly I have researched Peter Zumthor who’s style of architecture is the perfect example of the principles of phenomenology and believes in the sensory and experiential qualities in architecture. As such, he believes that in order to truly understand a building it must be experienced in person. His buildings are mysterious and enticing but show no signs of style or formal preconceptions. His concern is with context, experience, and materiality, not aesthetic. Perhaps this is his most significant contribution to architecture: a truly meaningful architecture of place and experience.(AD, 2020)

Both of the Architects I have researched have the same belief in as much as they sense the space they are designing in person and that the end result is important for them to create a piece that is beautiful in its simplest form and that experience and materials used are important, not the aesthetics.


(Dayman, 2019) (accessed 17.6.20)

(AD, 2020) (accessed 17.6.20)

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