Peter Zumthor's Thinking Architecture

Sometimes, before I read design theory, I take a deep breath, anticipating a long slog through unnecessarily complex diction, written by people whose primary talent is not writing. Not so with Peter Zumthor. Thinking Architecture was an arresting, emotional description of Zumthor's attitudes about materiality, space and the natural world, and one of my favorite reads this year.

Thinking Architecture is full of descriptions of the most heartfelt, familiar kind. The moods, smells and texture's of his aunt's kitchen, a modest farmhouse with windows that feel just right, the pleasures of experiencing prospect refuge on the mezzanine of a trendy hotel. It reminds me of why I love design and specifically why I love designing residential spaces. "There is a power in the ordinary things of everyday life..."