Peter Zumthor has described what really constitutes an architectural atmosphere as "this singular density and mood, this feeling of presence, well-being, harmony, beauty...under whose spell I experience what I otherwise would not experience in precisely this way." Zumthor is passionate about the creation of buildings that produce this kind of effect, but how might one actually set out to achieve it? Atmospheres is a poetics of architecture and a window onto Peter Zumthor's personal sources of inspiration. In nine illustrated chapters framed as a process of self-observation, Zumthor describes how he creates the atmosphere of his houses. Images of spaces and buildings that affect him are every bit as important as particular pieces of music or books. From the composition and presence of the materials to the handling of proportions and the effect of light, this book enables the reader to understand what really matters in the process of house design.