Christian Norberg-Schulz

  • Nightlands

    Nightlands

    Nordic Building

    Christian Norberg-Schulz

    Translated by Thomas McQuillan Architecture is a manifestation of the environment in which it is placed, observes distinguished architect and theoretician Christian Norberg-Schulz. A simple enough observation, but one that becomes subtle and nuanced in this landmark book which attempts to define, for the first time, what Nordic building really is. Norberg-Schulz begins by contrasting the natural world of the North with that of the Mediterranean, the Nordic unendingness against the sun-saturated and homogeneous South. Using themes such as "natural," "domestic," "universal," and "foreign," he finds the architecture of both regions sensibly related to their environments; but whereas the South lends itself to abstraction, the North is marked by variation, openness, and dynamism—by low light, forests, and space. Exploring the ways built experience "takes place," Norberg-Schulz charts the distinctive character of land and climate that distinguishes Denmark's, Sweden's, Finland's, and Norway's architectural traditions from each other and from those to the South. While each of these countries might be said to share regional traits, Norberg-Schulz identifies differences (the cultivated and closely detailed landscape and architecture of Denmark, the dramatic, structured forms of Norway) that allow him to account for the way individual Nordic architectures evolved.

    • Hardcover $10.75 £8.99
    • Paperback $9.75 £7.99
  • Intentions in Architecture

    Intentions in Architecture

    Christian Norberg-Schulz

    The chief focus of the book is on the symbolic and linguistic. The purpose is to develop an integrated theory of architectural description and architectural intention (and this includes the intention of the user as well as that of the designer), insofar as architecture is an art.

    Norberg-Schulz is a practicing architect; his buildings stand in several countries; and he elucidates the nature of architectural reality with a practiced eye and from a practical viewpoint. Although the methods and theory that his book develops are uncompromisingly rigorous and tightly formed, they are everywhere related to actual building, through specific examples and through the use of over 100 photographs. The structure that Norberg-Schulz has fashioned is surely one of the most impressive intellectual edifices that any architect has ever produced. The materials that are organically worked into it include Gestalt psychology, the mechanics of perception, information theory, modern analytic philosophy, and in particular, linguistic analysis, and the general theory of signs and symbols. The result, however, is not an eclectic hodge-podge; all these materials have their place and purpose; none is applied extraneously for "show" or purely decorative effect. And all this divergent material had to be joined according to plan within formal bounds in order to produce a theory with equally divergent applications: one that can treat not only of the aesthetics of architecture but equally well of its social, psychological, and cultural effects. The chief focus of the book is on the symbolic and linguistic. The purpose is to develop an integrated theory of architectural description and architectural intention (and this includes the intention of the user as well as that of the designer), insofar as architecture is an art.

    • Hardcover $16.50 £13.99
    • Paperback $45.00