Quality in architecture does not – not to me anyway – mean inclusion in architectural guides or histories of architecture or getting my work into this or that publication. Quality architecture to me is when a building manages to move me. What on earth is it that moves me? How can I get into my own work? How could I design something like the room in that photograph – one of my favorite icons, a building I have never seen, in fact I think it no longer exists – a building I just love looking at. How do people design things with such a beautiful, natural presence, things that move me every single time.
One word for it is atmosphere. This is something we all know about. Our first impression of a person. What I learned was: don’t trust it – give the guy a chance. Years passed. I got a bit older. And I have to admit that I’m back to believing in first impressions. It’s a bit like that with architecture, too.
I enter a building, see a room, and – in the fraction of a second – have this feeling about it.
by Peter Zumthor