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genius loci ; 'spirit of place' explored most notably by the theorist Christian Norberq-Schulzin his book, Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture.
Haven't heard that term since school.
So to answer your question, it's a very very important term, until it becomes very unimportant.
i guess if its an architectural space, yes. if its just a structure/ facility, no.
It's important for an architectural project, but not for a construction project.
Christian Norgerg Shultz : A blast from the past!
I cannot think of a single circumstance where it is not important. In fact, if you can successfully create a sense of place within your space, it might be considered successful.
Better get this in here before someone else posts it...http://www.theonion.com/articles/ask-the-concept-of-phenomenology-in-architecture-a,26178/