The buildings of Peter Zumthor provide one of the most complete representations of the translation of technics and poetics of environment in contemporary practice. Over the past quarter of a century, Zumthor has shaped form and material to create rich and memorable atmospheres within buildings for diverse purposes. This essay explores this connection through detailed analyses of four projects: the chapel of St Benedict, Sumvitg, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Therme Vals and the Kolumba Museum in Cologne.