Christian Norberg-Schulz

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Christian Norberg-Schulz (23 May 1926 – 28 March 2000) was a Norwegian architect, author, educator and architectural theorist. Norberg-Schulz was part of the Modernist Movement in architecture and associated with architectural phenomenology.[1][2]


Thorvald Christian Norberg-Schulz was born in Oslo, Norway. He was educated at the Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule in Zurich in 1949 with subsequent studies in Rome. He studied at Harvard University under a Fulbright scholarship. Between 1963 and 1978 he edited Byggekunst, an official magazine of National Association of Norwegian Architects.[3] He received his Doctor of Technology in architecture from the Norwegian Institute of Technology in 1964 and became a professor at Yale University, the following year. Norberg-Schulz was a professor and later Dean at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design from 1966 to 1992. During 1974, he was a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Architecture Department.[4][5]

In the 1950s and 1960s, Norberg-Schulz practiced as an architect both alone and in collaboration with Arne Korsmo, with whom he co-designed the famous row houses at Planetveien Street in Oslo, where both of them lived with their respective families.[6] Norberg-Schulz became progressively disillusioned with practice, just as his first book, "Intentions in Architecture", started to earn him international acclaim as an architectural theorist.[7] His later theoretical work of the 1970s and 1980s moved from the analytical and psychological concerns of his earlier writings to the phenomenology of place, and he was one of the first architectural theorists to bring Martin Heidegger to the field. Nevertheless, his interpretation of Heidegger's phenomenology has been often criticized.[8] His book Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture (1979) was widely influential in Europe and the Americas. He is recognized as a central figure in the architectural phenomenology movement.[9] He is also well known internationally both for his books on architectural history (in particular Italian classical architecture, especially the Baroque) and for his writings on theory.[10][11]

Personal life[edit]

In 1955, he married Anna Maria de Dominicis. They had three children; two sons Erik (1955) Christian Emanuel (1967) and one daughter Elizabeth (1959).

In popular culture[edit]

Books in English[edit]

  • Intentions in Architecture MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1965.
  • Existence, Space and Architecture Praeger Publishers, London, 1971
  • Meaning in Western Architecture Rizzoli, New York, 1974.
  • Baroque Architecture Rizzoli, Milan, 1979.
  • Late Baroque and Rococo Architecture Rizzoli, Milan, 1980.
  • Genius Loci, Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture Rizzoli, New York. 1980.
  • Modern Norwegian Architecture Scandinavian University Press, Oslo, 1987.
  • New World Architecture Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 1988.
  • Concept of Dwelling Rizzoli, New York. 1993.
  • Nightlands. Nordic Building, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1997.
  • Principles of Modern Architecture Andreas Papadakis Publishers, London, 2000.
  • Architecture: Presence, Language, Place Skira, Milan, 2000.

Primary source[edit]

  • An Eye for Place: Christian Norberg-Schulz: Architect, Historian and Editor (Gro Lauvland, author. Gyldendal Akademisk, Oslo. 2009) ISBN 9788281520325


  1. ^ Lunde, Anne Marit (7 January 2021), "Christian Norberg-Schulz", Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian Bokmål), retrieved 4 February 2021
  2. ^ "Christian Norberg-Schulz (Modern European Architecture Museum)". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Christian Norberg-Schulz". Oxford Reference. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  4. ^ "Christian Norberg-Schulz – Kunsthistorie". Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  5. ^ Christian Norberg-Schulz: Architect, Historian and Editor (Oslo School of Architecture and Design) Archived 19 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Jorge Otero-Pailos, "Norberg-Schulz’s House: The Modern Search for Home Through Visual Patterns", in Architecture Norway (5 Nov 2006)
  7. ^ Citation is needed or reliable sources. It is personal in tone?!
  8. ^ Pohl, Dennis. "Heidegger's Architects". Environmental & Architectural Phenomenology Newsletter. Environmental & Architectural Phenomenology. 29 (1): 19–20. ISSN 1083-9194.
  9. ^ Jorge Otero-Pailos (2010). "Photo[historio]graphy: Christian Norbert-Schulz's Demotion of Textual History". Architecture's Historical Turn: Phenomenology and the Rise of the Postmodern. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 146–182. ISBN 978-0-8166-6604-1.
  10. ^ "Norberg-Schulz, Christian |". Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  11. ^ "Sense of Place, Authenticity and Character: A Commentary (Journal of Urban Design, Vol. 8, No. 1, 67–81, 2003)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 November 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  12. ^ Norberg-Schulz, The Concept Of Phenomenology In Architecture As Developed By The Norwegian Theorist Christian. "Ask The Concept Of Phenomenology In Architecture As Developed By The Norwegian Theorist Christian Norberg-Schulz". The Onion. Retrieved 17 November 2021.

External links[edit]