Obituaries 

Christian Norberg-Schulz

30/04/2001


(1926-2000)

Far from the Italy that had instilled in him an enthusiasm for the Baroque, Christian Norberg-Schulz died in Oslo before the publication of Principles of Modern Architecture, his last work. Trained as an architect in Zürich's ETH, he was a student there of Sigfried Giedeon, the unofficial spokesperson of the CIAM to whom he owes his interest in art history and the perception of space. In 1946 he went to the United States for further studies with Walter Gropius at Harvard and Mies van der Rohe at the IIT, thereby obtaining firsthand experience of the Modern Movement's American phase and becoming one of its principal diffusors. On his return to Europe, he settled in Rome to work with Pier Luigi Nervi and continue his studies in art history, which would crystallize in separate books on Baroque and Rococo architecture. Classicism and modern architecture polarized a theoretical endeavor that he combined with professional practice in his Oslo studio with Arne Korsmo. Titles like Intentions in Architecture (1963) and Genius Loci (1980) present his view of modern principles based on phenomenological and gestalt criteria.


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