The Heaven, the Earth and the Optic Array: Norberg Schulz’s Place Phenomenology and its Degree of Operationability

Akkelies van Nes


This contribution aims to present the core of Christian Norberg-Schultz' later work about place phenomenology and architectural existentialism, its strengths and weaknesses and challenges for improvement. Christian Norberg-Schultz's book Intentions in Architecture is probably his most internationally known publication. One of his books, unfortunately only published in Norwegian, with the title Mellom himmel og jord ('between heaven and earth'), presents a continuation of Intentions in Architecture. It gives a presentation of Norberg-Schultz' architectural existentialism and his theory on places. It is build further up on Heidegger's text 'Bauen Wohnen Denken'. This book presents the frame and core of Norberg-Schultz's work from his last 30 years. In order to reflect upon the degree of operationability of his place theory, examples from Dutch and the Norwegian built environments will be used throughout the article.

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