Genius loci

Architecture belongs to poetry, and its purpose is to help man to dwell. But architecture is a difficult art. To make practical towns and buildings is not enough. Architecture comes into being when a “total environment” is made visible……
In general, this means to concretize the genius loci. This is done by means of buildings which gather the properties of the place and bring them close to man. The basic act of architecture is therefore to understand the “vocation” of the place. In this way we protect the earth and become ourselves part of a comprehensive totality.
What is here advocated is not some kind of “environmental determinism”. We only recognize the fact that man is an integral part of the environment, and that it can only lead to human alienation and environmental disruption if he forgets that. To belong to a place means to have an existential foothold, in a concrete everyday sense.
Christian Norberg – Schulz
Genius Loci – Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture




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