The architecture and the citizen

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The architecture and the citizen

By Svein Sando, associated professor at Queen Maud’s University College, Trondheim, Norway
“We experienced the wholeness from the very first day in the new convent buildings. The building is a part in making wholeness.”

These were the words of sister Hanne-Maria in Ordo Cisterciensium Strictioris Observantiae in the rather remote Tautra convent (Monasterium sancta Maria de Tuta insula) in the middle of the Trondheimsfjord in Norway. The new convent was consecrated in 2007, exactly 800 years after the consecration of the first Cistercians monastery at Tautra. The monastery was abandoned in 1537 due to the Lutheran reformation in the twin-kingdoms Denmark-Norway. Roman Catholicism was forbidden in Norway until 1843.

There is a great contrast between the heavy ruins of the medieval monastery and the new convent erected in glued wood beams, glass, plywood and slate. Although the physical context is a new one, life behind the convents and monastery walls is probably not so different today from 1207. The Ordo Cisterciensium is a contemplative order which spends the day on manual work, prayer, readings and praise.

The architect says that the nuns were, in a positive sense, demanding building masters. They had clear thoughts on how the building should serve the daily tasks. A convent is a home and a working place for the sisters until they die.

The new convent complex deprives the sisters some of the closeness to nature since they do not need to walk between different houses any more. The sisters therefore insisted on having the northern wall, towards the fjord, made of glass. The other walls are covered with slate in different shades of colours. This gives the building a nature friendly character.

Sister Hanne-Maria says that some of the wishes they had uttered towards the architect were not fulfilled. Among the things that did not come through, was a wish of feminine, rounded forms. The lack of rounded forms is striking when visiting the convent. Even so, Sister Hanne-Maria says that she felt at home immediately. It serves the functions it was intended to do.


This lecture is about the citizen and architecture. The sisters at Tautra convent are not ordinary citizens and they definitely do not live in a city. Whether you are a nun on a protected island or a citizen in a busy town, you need buildings to live in and to work in. In both cases the buildings are doing something with us, and in some cases we also have an influence over the design of the buildings, like the sisters at Tautra were allowed.

My task is to say something about how buildings affect the citizens. I am not an architect, but a theologian with special interest in technology and ethics, e.g. the interplay between man and nature with respect to human artefacts. I also have an education in natural science and teach some mathematics to my students in pre-school education.

I will present three scholars from three different subjects who since 1945 have addressed the same question that is my issue to night. The Austrian Hans Sedlmayr was a professor of art history, the Norwegian Christian Norberg-Schulz was a professor of architecture and the Danish Knud Ejler Løgstrup was a professor of philosophy and theology. What they have in common is a worry about the contemporary architecture, which they think may contribute negatively to our societies. I will focus more on Løgstrup than the two others.

Hans Sedlmayr (1896-1984)

In 1948 Sedlmayr wrote the book Verlust der Mitte, Loss of the Centre, which has been translated and reprinted several times, the last issue in 1998. A part of this book is a critique of the architecture of modernity.

He criticises this architecture for having forgotten its cultural task to collect and create wholeness. Instead, he claims that the architecture of modernity becomes autonomous by getting rid of what the architects considered a dirty mixture of true architectonical values and scenic and decorative values of the Renaissance and Baroque. Sedlmayr (p.97) says that the architecture of modernity serves an abstraction that is not firmly grounded on the earth. The first signs of this abstraction, Sedlmayr (p.95) finds in the prospects of the French architect Claude Nicolas Ledoux (1736-1806) in his spherical and cylindrical houses of the 1770s. All geometrical basic forms should be the main forms for buildings as well, according to Ledoux.

From this and other examples, Sedlmayr formulates two so-called dogmas held by the architecture of modernity:

  1. The geometrical basic shapes are also the basic shapes for architecture, and each of these shapes is able to be the basic shape for an entire building. (Sedlmayr, p.96)

  2. Every building is to be considered as a machine (“Jeder Bau is eine Maschine”) (Sedlmayr, p.106). Mechanical machinery becomes symbol and model.

The realization of these ideas was not possible in the 18th century, but when glass, steal and concrete cleared the path for new methods of construction, it was possible to construct buildings that apparently floated over the ground. The main style that advocated such ideas was modernism or functionalism, which was contemporary to Sedlmayr. In order to show this, Sedlmayr (p.103) quotes Le Corbusier: «In freedom people seeks the pure geometry»1 and calls it the first temptation from the spirit of abstraction.

In all this, Sedlmayr thinks that architecture has abandoned itself from considering architecture as art, and buildings have become constructions inspired by natural science only. The dwelling that should have been the firm home has become something temporal and inconstant. The human being has returned to be a sort of travelling nomad even if he still has a postal address. He dwells, but only temporarily2.

There is however some problems with Sedlmayr’s critique of modernism. His critique of the lack of being firmly grounded on the earth fits well with the Nazi’s “Heimat”-ideology and he also talks about “pure form” and “purity”, concepts that also fit well into a Nazi ideology. The very name of his book “Verlust der Mitte”, The Loss of the Center, is considered by the Austrian historian Friedrich Stadler to be “basically the structural reaction to what is still referred to as "degenerate,” in the same sense in which the Nazis used this term….” (Dictionary of Art Historians).  Sedlmayr did, in fact, become a member of the Austrian Nazi party as early as 1932, at a time when the party was forbidden. He lost his professorship in 1945, but was not prosecuted by the allied any further. Some of his critique may then be more caused by ideology than by science.

It seems, as Sedlmayr has not really understood the purpose of the architecture of modernism. The purpose of Ledoux’s and others’ use of pure geometrical forms, was not to abstract in a negative way away from the human lives, but quite contrary, to connect the architecture to the human living world. Le Corbusier found architecture of the late 19th century to be false in paying much more attention to outwardly shape and forms, while the buildings offered bad flats that made people sick and depressed. The Modernism wanted to get rid of false forms and, for the first time in known history, put the house of the common man in the centre of a completely new way of regarding architecture. It was revolutionary, and it seems as if Sedlmayr just did not like this new style and attacked it by whatever arguments he thought useful.

Of course, the analysis that modern man in the modern cities seems to lose his stable home may be to the point, even if the reason for this may be another than architecture based on mathematical abstraction. If that is true, then we have returned to the pre urban human culture when we in fact were nomads. We seek out of the towns and villages and towards the plains, woods, and mountains, not to collect food, but through tourism to collect experiences. The home has become a temporary station between work and vacation, and not the firm base and the frame that surrounds the daily life within the dwellings and cities that it used to be. The fate of the home is not unlike the fate of the religion in the Western culture. Religion has become a station where one pay a short stop only; for some people daily, for the most only in connections with the great transition rituals like baptism, confirmation, wedding and burial.

There is also a link between modern architecture and religion on a more specific level. The Norwegian philosopher Helge Høibraathen thinks that for Sedlmayr, the church is the object of architecture par excellence (above all) (Høibraathen, p.6). The church buildings were directly threatened by modernism when Le Corbusier uttered that the old cities with its cathedrals ought to be torn down and replaced by skyscrapers (Sedlmayr, p.108). Traditional church buildings contain a lot of symbolism in order to preach by the structure itself. The horizontal rectangular nave symbolises the human, while the vertical spires and towers and half domes symbolise God or eternity. By the light from above, often from a half dome, down to the altar, the building demonstrates how God spans his dwelling, the heaven and sky over the human dwelling, over the congregation in the house of the Lord.

Contrary to traditional architecture having this meeting of the vertical divine axis with the human horizontal, the buildings of modernism are opaque with respect the vertical vision, but transparent in the horizontal plane. It is almost like the buildings of modernity are reflecting the view of life of modern man. Salvation is not to be found in the vertical light from a God represented in public by a visual priesthood doing their service on an altar in a specific building in the centre of the city or village. Salvation is rather found in the horizontal, the secular, the common, the private and the decentralised.

A study of modern churches will, I suppose, not show neither a complete flight from the old ways of symbolising deity and humanity nor a complete transition to the transparent horizontal and the opaque vertical, but rather to a much greater degree of variety in ways of expressions of the Christian gospel by means of buildings.

What is true in modern times, however, is that Christian religion and church buildings are not longer the obvious centres neither in people’s minds nor in the people’s cities. Religion is but one part of society. Since the era of Enlightenment, religion and a number of other topics are differentiated from the rest of the society. This differentiation is reflected in architecture as well. The church buildings have to compete with other buildings about people’s attention. This is a consequence of the multicultural society. In an early phase of this development the churches had to compete with factory buildings, railway stations, town halls, universities, hospitals, shopping centres etc., which can all be regarded as proponents of a secular attitude of life. In recent years directly competing religious buildings like mosques and temples are added to this flora of buildings symbolising thoughts and ideologies.

Moreover, the existence and expression of this variety of buildings are doing something with the citizens, I will try to illustrate in the next parts of this lecture.

Christian Norberg-Schulz

The Norwegian professor in architecture, Christian Norberg-Schulz (1926-2000) has an analysis that is similar to Sedlmayr’s, and he quotes Sedlmayr in his writings. The difference, however, is that Norberg-Schulz focuses on the relation between the buildings and their surroundings, more than on the details and style of a building. The details, or the presence of a building, must be subordinated to the wholeness.

Norberg-Schulz talks about a crisis in the surrounding world (“omverdenskrise”) (Norberg-Schulz, 1988, p.11) due to significant changes in towns and densely populated areas, especially after World War II. Qualities that traditionally were part of human settlements have become weak or completely lost (p.14f). While towns and villages used to be well defined and representative elements in the landscape, a lot of towns became “diluted” by means of bragging highways and styles of buildings that neither pay respect to the character of the place nor to the buildings next door. When the prefabricated house is supposed to fit everywhere, it may fit nowhere.

A place is not the sum of all buildings, but the interplay between them and the surrounding landscape. One of his books is called “Between Earth and Sky”; that is where towns, cities and villages are situated. The landscape is the large room, with the sky as ceiling, the ground as floor and the horizons are the walls. This large natural room is an essential part of the character of the place, and the buildings at that place ought to be designed in harmony with that large room to enhance it or to interpret it (Norberg-Schulz, 1992, s.21-26). It was this kind of interplay with the landscape that the nuns at Tautra sought to establish by taking the landscape inside by means of a glass walls.

To dwell means, or ought to mean, that one considers the place to be a friend, and the dwellings achieve meaning by expressing this friendship. To be friends with a place is to spare it so that it remains itself and can develop its distinctive character. (Norberg-Schulz, 1992, p.36, my translation)

Norberg-Schulz follows Sedlmayr in his critique of having the geometry as the main ideal. Such ideals must not rule over the local character of the place. Something more that natural sciences must be the tools of the architect:

Science is certainly a very important one, but I have suggested that other types of symbol-systems are equally important. The more complex and different the environment becomes, the more we need a large number of different symbol-systems. (Norberg-Schulz, 1988, p.20)

The proper role of science is to describe the space objectively. A space is however no place until something more and quite different is added.

Norberg-Schulz uses the phenomenology of Heidegger to understand the tasks of architects. He develops Heidegger’s double understanding of space:

  1. Space has to do with opening up and then collecting together what belongs together.

  2. Space becomes corporal by sculptural forms (Norberg-Schulz, 1988, p.45f)

These concrete elements have qualities that together constitute the character of a place. The boundary of these elements are not to be understood primarily as something distinguishing each other, but is how each element makes their presence. Norberg-Schulz writes: ”the boundary is that form which something begins presencing” (Norberg-Schulz, 1998, p.46). That means that the shape and look of a building is how that building presents itself and thus come into being.

This presence of things and buildings is what we perceive and what makes us familiar with a place. The things that will produce a positive recognition, can be very different. Norberg-Schulz tells about the German-American architect Gerhard Kallmann who grew up in pre-war Berlin, and who after several years of absence tried to find where he lived his first years as a child. The buildings in the street were gone and replaced by new, but suddenly he looked at the pavement. That was not altered, and he remembered it just like it was when he played upon that same pavement. Suddenly he got a strong feeling of having come home. (Norberg-Schulz, 1998, p.61).

Sedlmayr and Norberg-Schulz agree that the wholeness is severely weakened in the modern society and that this loss has a strong link to how we build our houses and towns. Løgstrup gives us a philosophical reason why this is so:

Knud Ejler Løgstrup

The Danish theologian and philosopher K. E. Løgstrup (1905-82) deals in his essay “Architecture, sensing and identity” with the same topic as ours. He refers to both Le Corbusier and Norberg-Schulz and puts the question like this:

What kind of view on our existence is supporting our inclination to overlook the landscape and the residences impact on our existence? (Løgstrup, 1993, p.87, my translation)

He quotes Norberg-Schulz that the task of the buildings is to develop the character of the place by collecting the structure and the character of the place (Løgstrup, 1993, p.88).

Løgstrup thinks that most people will find his question reasonable as long as it only deals with the social aspect (Løgstrup, 1993, p.89). If it has to do with the surfaces of the buildings, the structure of the space and the relationship to the landscape, they will however find this rather exaggerated. The reason for this has to do with some prejudices, he thinks. The most important prejudice is that there is a gulf between “the materiality of the surroundings and the human consciousness” (Løgstrup, 1993, p.90). Løgstrup denies this gulf, and calls it an illusion.

In order to understand Løgstrup at this point, we have to deal with two specialities in his philosophy, namely his way of arguing and his view of the sensing.

Løgstrup thinks there are two types of differences, dividing and uniting differences. Dividing differences are true opponents. One of them must yield the other. Hatred and love, antipathy and sympathy are examples of dividing differences.

Uniting differences, however, enrich each other so that none of them becomes caricatures of themselves. The virtue of not making compromises is balanced by the virtue of not having prejudices, and vice versa. By this balance, compromiselessness will not be too stubborn, and unprejudiceness will not be too yielding.

You may think that this is much like Hegel’s dialectic. The likeness is however small. In Hegel’s system, thesis and antithesis merge to form the synthesis. Not so by Løgstrup, where the two uniting differences continue to exist in order to influence one another.

Løgstrup claims that the sensation is without distance to the object sensed, while comprehension is making distance between the subject and the object in order to understand. The latter most of us find reasonable, but not the former.

An important task in Løgstrup’s philosophy seems to have been to question some current wrong ideas. One of these is what he calls the current error of epistemology, the theory of knowing, in the legacy from Immanuel Kant. The Kantian epistemology puts man at distance to the material world, one’s own body included. Løgstrup questions this by means of phenomenology, at first like Husserl and Heidegger but especially Hans Lipps, but later in a way that refurnishes also the phenomenology according to those philosophers (Andersen, 1995, p.25).

The common understanding of sensation is that we are by means of our body placed at a particular place in space, and receive an impression by our senses, which our understanding computes so that we can understand what we sense. Both sensation and understanding are according to this theory at distance with the object sensed.

Løgstrup thinks this holds only for the understanding, but not for the sensation. The distance of the understanding has, however, fooled us to believe that also the sensation exists at a distance. When I read Løgstrup at this point, I think he considers sensation and understanding to be uniting differences, even if he is not using this expression at this point in his writings.

The sensation lacks distance and is omnipresent, Løgstrup claims in Metaphysics, vol. II. While the body is located, the sensation is not. It is the transformation by the understanding together with the knowledge of my body’s location that make us think that the sensation is something that happens within my body. Løgstrup claims this to be an error:

The seen and heard are at a distance from our body but not at a distance from our sensation. The ship we see out on the ocean, the dog’s bark down in the village are far away from our body but not from our vision and hearing. Our understanding is the opposite. We are at a distance to the understood, whatever it is, our surroundings or a contemplated action, thanks to language. (Løgstrup, 1995, p.6)

The common idea is that we consider the outside world as objects, and that we do that actively by sensing and understanding. We have so to speak the control by observing and experiencing, understanding and thinking, and acting accordingly. Løgstrup’s claim is, however, that we do not have control over the sensation. Quite opposite, we are under the complete control of the sensation because the sensation is not happening within me, but outside me in the omnipresence:

distancelessness means that in sensation, we are totally powerless in the face of the universe, We have not the least possibility of guarding against or correcting the universe’s reflection and unlimited rule in our sensation. In sensation, the universe recedes before the sensed, totally. So engulfed are we by the universe in sensation that there is noting left in us that is not universe. Sensing, we exist in the most complete loss of independence before the universe. (Løgstrup, 1995, p.6)

It is not my task here to evaluate Løgstrup’s idea of sensation. It is speculate and it is a part of his metaphysics. It is controversial even among his pupils. If he is right, however, it gives us an exciting tool for understanding among other thing, what is going on in our way of dealing with architecture. Let us then try to follow Løgstrup a bit further, use it and see where it takes us.

The next element from Løgstrup is his expression that “the senses attune the mind”. Løgstrup says this several times, but perhaps with the greatest consequences in Art and Knowledge:
our relationship to the world is attuned, not occasionally, but always. …
The mind does not exist without being in tune, without being a sounding board for everything that exists and occurs in the world and nature in which the human beings with their senses, eyes and hears are embedded. And unless there is attunement, nourished by things in nature, there would be no zest and energy for a single life-manifestation.
(Løgstrup, 1995, p.297 and 298)

This is the normal condition. In his ethics Løgstrup says that the openness of the speech and the confidence in our fellow human being is the starting point for inter-relational gathering. The same goes for our topic. The attuned mind is the starting point for courage to live and for having psychic energy, and that this is nourished by what we sense.

Now back to architecture. What has Løgstrup given us so far?

  1. Uniting differences, where the two differences enrich each other and keep each other sound so that none of them runs into absurdity.

  2. Sensation as the primary in our existence, both as objects for understanding and what attunes us into having zest and energy for life. The sensation brings us close to nature and reality, and the understanding brings us the necessary steps backwards to give us an overview and an ability to judge and interpret the sensed. These two, sensation and understanding, being united differences, interplay all the time.

In Løgstrup’s essay on architecture, he says that the sensation is attuned, not only by the surroundings but also with the surroundings (Løgstrup, 1993, p.90). There is identification between the mind and the attuned sensed. In relation to the landscape, he says:

we [must] belong to the landscape before the landscape belongs to us. We must – in the sensation – be a function of the landscape before we – with our understanding – bring ourselves at distance of it. (Løgstrup, 1993, p.91, my translation)

This should also to be valid for artefacts as well since artefacts are sensed the same way as nature. In this case, it is important how buildings and towns are, in order to attune us in a way that brings us psychic energy. It would be good if our artificial surroundings which we control completely since they are man made, can be positive elements in life.

Løgstrups continues to speak about the house:

The house has not only a number of functions, summed up in giving us a roof over our heads, as if the shape of the house was not important as long as the house served our needs. The house has a second task to fulfil, too. Norberg-Schulz says one place that the task is to give our existence meaning. He also says that the understanding of the world in which we live is not a product of the subject, but an interpretation of the world. The task of the house is to make this interpretation visible. (Løgstrup, 1993, p.91, my translation)

Two new elements are brought to us: utility and meaning. The house should not only fulfil some necessary tasks, but should also have a greater vocation, which exceeds any rationality of utility, Zweckrationalität, in German. The house should give the existence meaning, which must be close to Løgstrup’s expression of giving us energy for life.

In the next part of his essay on architecture, Løgstrup deals with the concept ‘identification’. We can identify ourselves only with things that we are aware of, and largely that means what we sense. Thus our identity is mainly ‘deposited in our surroundings’, as Løgstrup phrases it (Løgstrup, 1993, p.92). Thus, it is not I who create my own identity on free terms, but identity is to some extent to be found in all that I have sensed so far in life. The identity is not static, but changes because we continuously sense and interpret and think. What we sense in this relation is not just nature, landscapes, trees, animals and so forth, but also the artefacts, your garden, your beloved, your enemy, your working colleague, your car, your bed, your meals, your home and your dwelling and your physical neighbourhood and your place of work. The architecture among which you are living is creating your identity. Therefore, it is important and not mere decoration.

How can architecture create this meaning and become a carrier of identity above the usefulness and a rationality of utility? Løgstrup has something to say in that respect too. We find it in the small essay about being and sensation in his Metaphysics Vol. III. He discusses what he calls the common thought that one has to choose between chaos and things being ruled by what are useful, and that the highest degree of rationality is the one ruled by utility, that which German social science calls “zweckrational” (Løgstrup, 1984, p.110; 1983, p.101). Løgstrup does not oppose that society should strive for good ends, but there is more to be said:

Purpose is not required to achieve meaning. Impulse [Danish: indfald] is enough. Impulse is in fact the better. Impulse is of higher rank than end and purpose. The dizzy richness of forms and shapes that constitutes the universe, is impulse which the power that put all together has done out of the coincidences of the variability. (Løgstrup, 1983, p.101, my translation)

It is against the dominance of the idea that everything must have a useful purpose to be considered as valuable, that Løgstrup uses the word ‘impulse’. (It is difficult to find a good translation of the Danish word ‘indfald’, so ‘idea’, ‘thought’ or ‘inspiration’ may be synonyms to ‘impulse’. ‘Indfald’ is a thought that just sort of comes to one’s mind seemingly from nowhere.)

The context where Løgstrup writes about impulse is the art of poetry and writing. However, he takes examples from natural science in his allusion to the evolution in nature. It should then be all right to apply this concept to another art, which is more closely related to nature that poetry is, namely architecture. Hegel calls architecture “the first art”, because architecture is the very art that bridges nature and human culture. Architecture has to combine artistic freedom with all the restrictions because of dealing with physical building materials and contemporary construction technology (Gjesdal, 2004, p.10-11).

“Impulse is of higher rank than end and purpose.” Can this be confirmed? Løgstrup refers to the richness of forms and shapes in the universe. What strikes me when looking at nature is that it by no means is tight or stolid. On the contrary, nature has abundance of life and is seemingly wasteful. We can see that especially with regard to reproduction, where eggs and seeds are shed out in amounts that are very much larger that what in fact lead to reproduction. Nevertheless, all that potential life is not just lost, but some become food for other beings.

Seen from a Christian theological point of view, this is also the case with God and the Kingdom of God. When Jesus shows what the Kingdom of God is like, it is compared to phenomena from the abundance in nature. At the wedding in Kana (John.2) Jesus makes wine out of water of a quality and amount that astonish the guests. Jesus feeds 5000 men in the desert in a way that the surplus is much more than the five loaves of bread and two fishes he started with (Math.14).

Løgstrup learns from nature, and surely as a theologian, from theology as well, that “impulse is of higher rank than end and purpose.”

Buildings are expected to fulfil a need, but life, nature, God if one is a believer, teach us that buildings designed only to be useful, is not enough to make an identity. Or as Løgstrup puts it: to let one’s identity be disposed into it.

What is then an impulse? Is it nothing more than a coincident? The word inspiration is almost the same. Inspire means to breathe in; breathe in what passes by, and put it together to a whole. Inspiration is creation, spontaneity, imagination - and play. Imagination and play is to think what is not there, and then give life to it. Children are good at that. The philosophical writer Jostein Gaarder says that the children are the best philosophers because they have not yet learned that there are some questions adults have stopped asking just because they have no easy answer.

Play and utility are often considered as two very different things. They may however rather be uniting differences? If play just remains play, then the impulses remain just thought, ideas, and nothing more. What a waste! If the rationality ruled by utility is the only thing that counts for architects and city planners, then we will receive buildings and cities that give no more than shelter against bad weather and time-efficient infrastructure to transport ourselves on. We will receive dwelling machines that are built as cost effective as possible. Great deals of the contemporary buildings are regrettably like that or nearly like that.

If, however, impulse and utility could balance each other, then the impulse that at the same time was combined with a need could be realized. The point in giving impulse higher rank than utility is not to say “yes” to every artistic impulse that most people would shake their heads against and which would probably not have been a good container to dispose one’s identity into either. By using the sieve of rationality of utility, the best impulses can come through; those that give true identification because of their playfulness and imagination and their way to fulfil daily practical ends and goals as well.


The nuns at Tautra got their building where impulse and utility have been combined, I think. In order just to fulfil utility, the building could have been more simple and cheaper. However, to which price in the long term? The building will be both a source of inspiration and identification. The nuns had already deposed some of their identity in the fjord outside, and they wanted to be able to have easy access through their omnipresent senses to the fjord from the new convent as well. They got the impulse that one wall ought to be of transparent glass. The architect was informed about this impulse, and found a practical solution to it; even it was not his own impulse. A building is often a co-product of the building master and the architect. The slate on the walls however was the impulse of the architect. They are not necessary to keep rain and frost outside. Cheaper materials had been sufficient for that purpose. But purpose was not enough for the nuns, so impulse and utility could co-operate in united differences.

References and Literature

Høibraaten, H (1995). Materialer om Modernitet. Trondheim: Filosofisk institutt, Universitet i Trondheim, Stensilert manus.

Gjesdal, K. (2004). Ånd i masse og materie. Hegel om arkitektur og om tankens arkitektoniske prinsipper. i Agora nr.1-2. 2004, s.7-23. Oslo: H.Aschehoug & Co.

Løgstrup, K.E. (1982/1997). System og symbol. København: Gyldendal

Løgstrup, K.E. (1983/1995). Kunst og erkendelse. Kunstfilosofiske betragtninger. Metafysik II. København: Gyldendal

Løgstrup, K.E. (1984/1995). Ophav og omgivelse. Betragtninger over historie og natur. København: Gyldendal

Løgstrup, K.E. (1993). Solidaritet og kærlighed. København: Gyldendal

Løgstrup, K.E. (1995). Metaphysics. Volume I and II. Milwaukee: Marquette University Press.

Norberg-Schulz, C. (1965). Intentions in Architecture. Cambridge, MA: The M.I.T. Press

Norberg-Schulz, C. (1978). Mellom jord og himmel. En bok om steder og hus. [Between Earth and Heaven] Oslo: Universitetsforlaget

Norberg-Schulz, C. (1980). Genius Loci. Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture. London: Academy Editions

Norberg-Schulz, C. (1986/88). Architecture: Meaning and Place. Selected Essays. New York: Electa

Norberg-Schulz, C. (1992). Stedskunst. Oslo: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag A/S

Sedlmayr, H (1948/1976). Verlust der Mitte. Salzburg: Otto Müller Verlag

Dictionary of Art Historians (n.d.) "Sedlmayr, Hans" In Dictionary of Art Historians. Retrieved August 15, 2007,  Web site:

1  Die geometrischen Formen sind auch jetzt das ersten das den abstrakten Geist verlockt : « Le reveil brutal en nous, parceque foudroyant des joies intenses de la géometrie. (Le Corbusier) ; « In Freiheit neigt der Mensch zur reinen Geometrie. » (Sedlmayr, s.103)

2 ”der Mensch keinen Ort mehr haben will, an dem er bleiben, auf dem er ”bauen” kann.” (Sedlmayr s.107).

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