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Atmosphere is an experienced quality of a space which unites all the senses to work
simultaneously to address the basic need to architecture, i.e. to feel the spatial quality.
The idea of atmosphere in architecture remains unaddressed most of the times.It is not
same for everyone, it is something personal, vague, short-lived and difficult to capture in
text or design. This ephemeral nature of a space effects the person as a whole and this is
what is seen as an essence of architecture.
An architecture theorist Mark Wigley, in a 1998 issue of architecture journal Daidalos
questioned the lack of the notion of atmospheres within the profession. Even today, after
18 years of the publication of this inspiring issue Daidalos, the theme has lost none of its
However, as Argentine poet Jorge Luis Borges said of poetry as it is something which
cannot be defined but can be recognized, in fact, when we are unable to define
something, its when we truly know it.atmosphere too is the same phenomenon, though
it is difficult to pin down its exact meaning, but can be identified intuitively. Continuing
with the notion of atmosphere, this can be called as an experience and knowledge
embedded in a larger community, to be shared and exchanged. And by doing so, it
bridges the gap between professional and laymen. It offers an experience that lasts long
within the memory, via sensory perceptions and stirring the minds.
Atmosphere exists where architecture, beyond its autonomous path, its
technical structure, and its programmatic approach, is connected with the
surpassing use of space by the occupants.
Architects Juhani Pallasmaa and Peter Zumthor have recognised atmosphere as the core
theme of architecture.
Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa argues the experience of atmosphere as that of an
experience of special quality: the quality of fa space is not merely a matter of only visual
perception as is generally assumed. But it is something that involves all of the sensory
perceptions to be fused together so as to grasp the overall atmosphere of the place
which allows to make the judgement of an environmental character, feeling, mood or
Swiss architect Peter Zumthor identified a series of themes that play a major role in
achieving architectonic atmosphere in his book Atmospheres. According to him, What do
we mean when we speak of architectural quality? It is a question that I have little
difficulty in answering. Quality in architecture is to me when a building manages to
move me. What on earth is it that moves me? How can I get it into my own work? How
do people design things with such a beautiful, natural presence, things that move me
every single time. One word for it is Atmosphere.

Juhani addresses atmosphere as a reflective view and Zumthor as an operational view of

The issue delves further into the definition of atmospheres as a dynamic interaction
among objective architectonic aspects and their subjective prescription.