Moments of Spiritual Engagement in Architecture: A Search for Awareness of Life and Architecture
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In my encounter of Peter Zumthor’s Seniors’ Home and Kolumba Museum, I found architecture to affect well-being within the daily course of life. I saw the Seniors' Home contribute to the dwelling of the entire being of the elderly residents within the challenging yet hopeful season of life they face in aging, while at Kolumba Museum I encountered an experience of aesthetic embodying meaningful knowledge that addressed not only my mind but also my heart. Centered on the inherent operative dimensions of aesthetic at these two buildings—as an intervention, as a material reality, as an image, and as something we are positioned in and move in—and deepened by aesthetic philosophy and spiritual readings, I seek for an awareness of the way architectural decisions influence the human journey through space and time, and for principles and considerations that supplied and realized this architecture to be vitally contributive. The thesis is a meditation on the vitality of the medium, searching for a relevance that can justify architecture not as mere shelter that barely satisfies nor as inessential excess, but as an efficacious act that can satisfy the human being who encounters it and truly improve well-being in its existing. The thesis posits that architecture is fundamentally a craft and an act of giving a gift to the other. Its created existence in space and time is capable of producing lasting good in the world, if the design of architecture, through love, is primarily concerned about its affect on the other and the world rather than its object.