towards a phenomenology of architecture norberg schulz l.
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Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture: Norberg-Schulz. Phil 314 Philosophy and the City. some terminology. Dwelling: gaining an existential foothold (5) Genius loci: the spirit of the place (5, Place: the concrete manifestation of human’s dwelling

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some terminology
some terminology
  • Dwelling: gaining an existential foothold (5)
  • Genius loci: the spirit of the place (5,
  • Place: the concrete manifestation of human’s dwelling
  • Concretize: to make the general “visible” as a concrete, local situation
  • Cultural landscape: “an environment where man has found his meaningful place within the totality.” (40)
3 steps towards a phenomenology of place
3 steps towards a phenomenology of place
  • Distinguish between natural (landscape) and human-made phenomena (settlement) (p. 10)
  • Categories of earth/sky, outside/inside
  • Character: “the basic mode in which the world is ‘given’” (p. 14)
possible relationships between natural and human made places gathering
Possible relationships between natural and human-made places: gathering
  • Visualize: building demonstrates human understanding of nature by replicating what is seen in nature
  • Complement: building adds what is perceived to be lacking in nature
  • Symbolize: building demonstrates human understanding of nature and self by translating that understanding onto built form (Genius Loci, p. 17)
genius loci
Genius Loci
  • Socio-economic factors are not the most important in shaping genius loci: “The existential meanings have deeper roots. They are determined by the structure of our being-in-the-world.” (6)
  • “if the settlements are organically related to their environment, it implies that they serve as foci where the environment is condensed and ‘explained.’” (10)
  • Protecting and conserving the genius loci means interpreting it in ever new ways (18)
cultural landscapes
Cultural Landscapes

“Through the interaction of surface relief, vegetation and water, characteristic totalities or places are formed which constitute the basic elements of landscapes.” (37)

3 archetypes:

  • Romantic
  • Cosmic
  • Classical
romantic landscapes
Romantic Landscapes
  • Original forces strongly felt
  • Rugged with lots of places
  • Dwelling an interaction between humans and earth

e.g., Norwegian farm

cosmic landscape
Cosmic Landscape
  • Earth doesn’t provide foothold
  • No individual places structured
  • Sky is structured by the sun rather than the earth
  • Genius loci a manifestation of absolute

e.g., Ulurul (Australia)

classical landscape
Classical Landscape
  • Intelligible composition of distinct elements
  • Meaningful order
  • Human scale
  • Dwelling by placing as equal partners—humans and nature

e.g.,Tuscany

complex landscapes
Complex Landscapes
  • Mixture of “pure” archetypes
  • E.g., Beirut, Lebanon