159
Building Dwelling Thinking

In this way, then, do genuine buildings give form to dwelling in its presencing and house this presence.

Building thus characterized is a distinctive letting-dwell. Whenever it is such in fact, building already has responded to the summons of the fourfold. All planning remains grounded on this responding, and planning in turn opens up to the designer the precincts suitable for his designs.

As soon as we try to think of the nature of constructive building in terms of a letting-dwell, we come to know more clearly what that process of making consists in by which building is accomplished. Usually we take production to be an activity whose performance has a result, the finished structure, as its consequence. It is possible to conceive of making in that way; we thereby grasp something that is correct, and yet never touch its nature, which is a producing that brings something forth. For building brings the fourfold hither into a thing, the bridge, and brings forth the thing as a location, out into what is already there, room for which is only now made by this location.

The Greek for "to bring forth or to produce" is τίκτω. The word τέχνη, technique, belongs to the verb's root tec. To the Greeks τέχνη, means neither art nor handicraft but rather: to make something appear, within what is present, as this or that, in this way or that way. The Greeks conceive of τέχνη, producing, in terms of letting appear. Τέχνη thus conceived has been concealed in the tectonics of architecture since ancient times. Of late it still remains concealed, and more resolutely, in the technology of power machinery. But the nature of the erecting buildings cannot be understood adequately in terms either of architecture or of engineering construction, nor in terms of a mere combination of the two. The erecting of buildings would not be suitably defined even if we were to think of it in the sense of the original Greek τέχνη as solely a letting-appear, which brings something made, as something present, among the things that are already present.


Martin Heidegger (GA 7) Poetry, Language, Thought

GA 7 p. 161-162