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Peter Zumthor | ‘Real and Imagined Buildings’ | Building the Picture

>>Peter Zumthor: If I have to do a building
I have an image of what the building should be and how it should be, what kind of atmosphere
it should have. And this is not a moral category or ethical category of honesty or not honesty.
This is more being truthful to my feeling for the place or my feeling for the task,
for the use of the building. Designing for me is sort of a physical act.
At the end is a physical object and I have to make sure that I, as soon as possible,
get in contact with this physical object I’m dreaming of. And a dream is also in my case,
if I dream of a building, it’s an image. It’s not an abstract thought. I don’t have any
abstract dreams. I only have concrete dreams. [laughs]>>Leah Kharibian: A lot of Renaissance depictions
of architecture are works of the imagination. They’re dreamed buildings.>>Peter: Sure>>Leah Kharibian: And this little painting
by Ercole de’ Roberti from about 1490, where he imagines the stable of the Nativity which
suggests to him the origins of architecture, the wooden structure, but it’s also done in
the very latest form, to a Renaissance viewer, the very latest form of architecture. So he’s
both got a very primal and a very modern element going on at the same time. And I wondered
if that was something that was also in your work?>>Peter Zumthor: Time to me, I can only imagine,
so that it really means something to me, is the moment I live. I’m living, obviously,
in this moment and I’m surrounded by things which come from the past. I myself I’m 99%
history. And if I look around I’m surrounded by things which have been made by people,
they might not even live anymore. The trees outside they are older than me, and they will
outlive me. I love this. This gives me a feeling of, I must be part of something bigger. [bells ringing]>>Peter Zumthor: So with this feeling doing
houses means, yes, let’s do a house which can be a part of time. Maybe, if it’s successful
as a building, and successful for me would be loved by people, to use it or something.
Then you can tell the building knows something about time, knows about the time before and
the time which might come.>>Leah Kharibian: So does the building have
a form of intelligence if it’s a good building?>>Peter Zumthor: The building has a form
of soul. Intelligence to me is this laser line there. I prefer to say it has a soul,
or a heart. A soul is good, because this is the big thing. Yes, a good building should
have a soul.


  1. Mathias Thomsen Schmidt Author

    Great video. Truly great. To hear him speak and to see is builindings in such great camera quality is fantastic… And thanks for not putting any music in the background.

  2. bluteo27 Author

    I have his book called "Peter Zumthor Works: Buildings and Projects, 1979-1997" listed on Amazon for the cheapest price you can find (seller name GoodBrainCo), beautiful designs and words from this man!


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