In dezeen, the problems with location
, or why do architects build in the provinces?
If we were to find ourselves in a provocative mood, we might be so bold as to suggest that discussions of "rootedness" in architecture skirt uncomfortably close to the kinds of invocations of nationality, locality and authenticity, whose sinister overtones we've recently been hearing all too often. And this would not be merely coincidental. For the concept of place – as explained by Norwegian architectural theorist Christian Norberg Schulz in his 1979 book Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture – owes a lot to the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, whose own affection for the rooted and the authentic did not sit uncomfortably alongside his infamous membership of the Nazi Party. That the language of place as espoused by some architects can sound like a sanitised version of UKIP ideology should be ringing more alarm bells that it currently does.