Peter Zumthor

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Peter Zumthor is widely regarded as one of the most influential contemporary architects.
Born in Basel, Switzerland, in 1943, Zumthor has always rooted his designs in a strong relationship between architecture and place, in the importance of the perceived qualities of building materials, and an, somewhat empathic, attitude towards building design which comes from his diverse cultural background.

The son of a cabinet maker, Zumthor is a quite original figure in today’s architectural world, known for his reservedness and the refusal of the “starchitect” way of life (he still lives and works with a small number of collaborators in Haldenstein, a small village in the canton of Graubünden).
Yet, it is his rare capability to combine a very concrete and “physical” sensibility, always attentive to details, with a sophisticated philosophic framework that gave him worldwide recognition.
As he once said: “Architecture is not a vehicle or a symbol for things that do not belong to its essence. In a society that celebrates the inessential, architecture can put up a resistance, counteract the waste of forms and meanings, and speak its own language. (…) Every building is built for a specific use in a specific place and for a specific society. My buildings try to answer the questions that emerge from these simple facts as precisely and critically as they can.”

Also a professor, a writer and a theorist, Peter Zumthor has been awarded a number of international honors, including the Carlsberg Architecture Prize in 1998, the Mies van der Rohe Award for European Architecture in 1999, the Praemium Imperiale in 2008, the Pritzker Prize in 2008, and the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 2009.

Cover image: Peter Zumthor portrayed by Gary Ebner


our articles about Peter Zumthor

Allmannajuvet Zinc Mine Museum, Sauda, Norway | Peter Zumthor

Allmannajuvet Zinc Mine Museum, Sauda, Norway | Peter Zumthor

The Allmannajuvet Zinc Mine Museum is an industrial archaeology museum in southern Norway designed by renowned Swiss architect Peter Zumthor
mymuseum
Beyeler Foundation extension project by Peter Zumthor unveiled

Beyeler Foundation extension project by Peter Zumthor unveiled

The Beyeler Foundation in Rihen, Switzerland, has unveiled the first images of its new extension, designed by acclaimed Swiss architect Peter Zumthor
case-studies
Kolumba – Köln

Kolumba – Köln

Kolumba is a museum in Köln / Cologne primarily focused on ancient and modern art and housed in a famous building designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor
mymuseum
KUB-Kunsthaus Bregenz

KUB-Kunsthaus Bregenz

Designed by Peter Zumthor, the Kunsthaus Bregenz - KUB is a famous museum of contemporary art in the city of Bregenz, western Austria
mymuseum
Serpentine Galleries Pavilions; a history

Serpentine Galleries Pavilions; a history

A history by images of all Serpentine Galleries Summer Pavilions at Kensington Gardens in London, from 2000 (Zaha Hadid) through 2019 (Junya Ishigami)
case-studies
Steilneset Memorial – Vardø, Norway | Peter Zumthor & Louise Bourgeois

Steilneset Memorial – Vardø, Norway | Peter Zumthor & Louise Bourgeois

The Steilneset Memorial is a memorial in Norway, which commemorates 91 victims of a witch trial, built after a design by Peter Zumthor and Louise Bourgeois
mymuseum
The surprising LACMA extension by Zumthor

The surprising LACMA extension by Zumthor

Swiss architect Peter Zumthor designed a curvilinear extension for the east campus of LACMA Los Angeles County Museum of Art, raised 30 feet over the ground
case-studies

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