Today, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) honored Swiss architect Peter Zumthor for his significant influence on the advancement of architecture by naming him the recipient of the 2013 Royal Gold Medal.
It all started in Switzerland, in 1979, when Zumthor founded his “small yet powerful and uncompromising practice”. Since, he has built a prestigious, international reputation for creating “highly atmospheric spaces through the mastery of light and choice of materials”. From his small rural chapels to the Thermal Baths at Vals, the Zumthor experience ignites the senses, with “every detail reinforcing the essence of the building and its surroundings.”
RIBA President Angela Brady, stated: “Peter Zumthor’s work renews the link with a tradition of modern architecture that emphasizes place, community and material practice. His writings dwell upon the experience of designing, building and inhabitation while his buildings are engaged in a rich dialogue with architectural history. I will be delighted to present him with the Royal Gold Medal.”
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Zumthors most celebrated projects include the Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria, the Therme Vals (thermal baths) in Vals, Switzerland and the Kolumba Art Museum in Cologne. He designed London’s 2011 Serpentine Pavilion and is currently designing a house in Devon for philosopher Alain de Botton’s Living Architecture architect-designed holiday home scheme.
Peter Zumthor will be presented with the Royal Gold Medal on Wednesday 6 February 2013 at a ceremony at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London, during which the 2013 RIBA International and Honorary Fellowships will also be presented.
This year’s RIBA Honours Committee was chaired by RIBA President Angela Brady with architects Peter Clegg, Yvonne Farrell, Professor Adrian Forty, Niall McLaughlin and Sarah Wigglesworth.