This elegantly designed book contains four essays by Peter Zumthor. It exhibits the essence of Zumthor's ideas in a similar vein as our highly successful Rem Koolhaas: Conversations with Students (see page 11).
"The creative act in which a work of architecture comes into being is beyond all historical and technical knowledge. Its focus is on the dialogue with the issues of the time. At the moment of its creation, architecture is bound to the present in a very special way. It reflects the spirit of its inventor and gives its own answers to the questions of the time through its user-oriented form and appearance, its relationship with other works of architecture, and its association with the place where it stands.
Answers to the questions which I formulate as an architect are limited. Our times of change and breakthrough do not permit big gestures. We all share the few remaining common values upon which we can build. I thus appeal for a kind of architecture of common sense based on fundamentals that we can all know, understand, and feel. I carefully observe the built-up world, and in my work I try to include valuable aspects that seem to be missing, to correct what is disturbing, and to create anew what is lacking". -- from Peter Zumthor: Thinking Architecture