Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32578
From Vertigo to Verticality: An Example of Phenomenological Design in Architecture

Authors: E. Osorio Schmied


Architects commonly attempt a depiction of organic forms when their works are inspired by nature, regardless of the building site. Nevertheless it is also possible to try matching structures with natural scenery, by applying a phenomenological approach in terms of spatial operations, regarding perceptions from nature through architectural aspects such as protection, views, and orientation. This method acknowledges a relationship between place and space, where intentions towards tangible facts then become design statements. Although spaces resulting from such a process may present an effective response to the environment, they can also offer further outcomes beyond the realm of form. The hypothesis is that, in addition to recognising a bond between architecture and nature, it is also plausible to associate such perceptions with the inner ambient of buildings, by analysing features such as daylight. The case study of a single-family house in a rainforest near Valdivia, Chilean Patagonia is presented, with the intention of addressing the above notions through a discussion of the actual effects of inhabiting a place by way of a series of insights, including a revision of diagrams and photographs that assist in understanding the implications of this design practice. In addition, figures based on post-occupancy behaviour and daylighting performance relate both architectural and environmental issues to a decision-making process motivated by the observation of nature.

Keywords: Architecture, design statements, nature, perception.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 991


[1] A. Aravena, “Van der Laan en Tierra del Fuego,” ARQ 4, pp. 12-15, April 1999.
[2] M. Klotz, et al., Mathias Klotz. México: Arquine, 2013.
[3] C. Norberg-Schulz, Intentions in Architecture. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1979.
[4] J. Pallasmaa, J., Los Ojos de la Piel. La Arquitectura de los Sentidos, 2nd ed. Barcelona: Gustavo Gili, 2006.
[5] S. Holl, Cuestiones de Percepción. Fenomenología de la Arquitectura. Barcelona: Gustavo Gili, 2011.
[6] M. Heidegger, Poetry, Language, Thought. New York: Harper & Row, 1971.
[7] S. E. Rasmussen, Experiencing Architecture. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1962.
[8] F. Pérez, A. Aravena, & J. Quintanilla, J, Los Hechos de la Arquitectura, 3rd ed. Santiago: Ediciones ARQ, 2007.
[9] F. Pérez, El Espejo y el Manto. Santiago: Ediciones ARQ, 2014.
[10] G. Kapstein, Espacios Intermedios. Respuesta Arquitectónica al Medio Ambiente, 2nd ed. Santiago: Ediciones ARQ, 2015.
[11] T. Daniell, Toyo Ito: Tarzans in the Media Forest. London: AA Publications, 2011.
[12] J. Pallasmaa, The Embodied Image. Imagination and Imagery in Architecture. Chichester: John Willey & Sons Ltd, 2011.
[13] E. Castillo, Conversaciones Informales. Santiago: Ediciones ARQ, 2009.
[14] A. McNicholl, A. and J. Owen Lewis, Daylight in Buildings. Dublin: European Commission, 1994.
[15] D. Phillips, Daylighting. Natural Light in Architecture. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2004.
[16] R. McMullan, Environmental science in building, 7th ed. Basingstoke, England: Macmillan, 2012.
[17] E. Kaufmann, An American Architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright. New York: Horizon Press, 1955.
[18] Ilustre Municipalidad de Valdivia, Plan de Desarrollo Comunal. Valdivia, 2011.
[19] M. Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being. New York: Harper & Row, 1984.
[20] N. Stungo, Frank Lloyd Wright. London: Carlton, 1999.