Few famous philosophers have written specifically for an audience of architects.

Martin Heidegger is one of them. He spoke to a gathering of professionals and

academics at a conference in Darmstadt in 1951. Hans Scharoun – later

architect of the Berlin Philharmonie and German National Library – marked up

his programme with glowing comments, enthusing about Heidegger’s talk to

friends and acquaintances (Blundell-Jones 1995, 136). The discussion, which so

inspired Scharoun, was later printed as an essay called ‘Building Dwelling

Thinking’. Republished to this day and translated into many languages, the text

influenced more than one generation of architects, theorists and historians

during the latter half of the twentieth century. When Peter Zumthor waxes

lyrical about the atmospheric potential of spaces and materials; when Christian

Norberg-Schulz wrote about the spirit of place; when Juhani Pallasmaa writes

about The Eyes of the Skin; when Dalibor Vesely argues about the crisis of

representation; when Karsten Harries claims ethical parameters for architecture;

when Steven Holl discusses phenomena and paints watercolours evoking

architectural experiences; all these establishment figures are responding in some

way to Heidegger and his notions of dwelling and place.