House Without a Form

Paphos CY. Spring 1999

Within the house,
a sequence of seven spaces.
We design it, which means we search
for it in our memory,
intuitively, imagining it to be a real
thing of architectural flesh and blood.
We look for and concentrate on
the things we know about it
the variations of its use
its possible users, and its place
in order to find out what we
don’t know about it yet.

We think of this house in terms of
scents and smells and light perfumes
of sounds, reverberations, noise
in terms of dimness, shadow, light
enclosure and exposure
openness and containment
intimacy and spaciousness
density and looseness
looking out, being inside
a charged composition of
materials ordered in rooms
oak, brass, wax
a sequence of atmospheres of
colors, shines and hues
seams and joints from
one material piece to another
tactile qualities.
We don’t think of this house in terms of form.

Peter Zumthor, January 1999




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