Spotlight: Peter Zumthor

at the Steilneset Memorial. Image © Andrew Meredith

Known for his sensuous materiality and attention to place, 2009 Pritzker Laureate Peter Zumthor (born April 26, 1943) is one the most revered architects of the 21st century. Shooting to fame on the back of The Therme Vals and Kunsthaus Bregenz, completed just a year apart in 1996 and 1997, his work privileges the experiential qualities of individual buildings over the technological, cultural and theoretical focus often favored by his contemporaries.

Zumthor and Mendes da Rocha Join AMERICAnodelsud Conference in Paraguay

is an organization committed to social equality, promoting investigations and the development of new knowledge within the field of architecture. One of their main objectives is to raise funds to sponsor projects that will bridge the social exclusion gap.

Architects Alejandro Aravena (Santiago, Chile), Solano Benitez (Asuncion, Paraguay), Angelo Bucci (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Rafael Iglesia (Rosario, Argentina), José María Saez (Quito, Ecuador) and Ricardo Sargiotti (Córdoba, Argentina) held the first convention in 2013. Through the ‘america[no] del sur’ tour, which consisted of three conferences held in different cities in Argentina, they sought to raise the necessary funding.

On April 15th and 17th, Asunción, Paraguay will host the upcoming fundraiser, which Peter Zumthor and Paulo Mendes da Rocha have already agreed to attend in order to support the cause. Without a doubt, the presence of these two internationally-renowned architects will greatly help raise the funds needed by AMERICAnodelsud to follow through with their commitment. 

Read AMERICAnodelsud’s charter for this year’s edition, written by Solano Benitez, below. 

Jurors Deny Support of Morphosis’ Vals Hotel Appointment

Therme Vals / . Image © CC Flickr User Richard Tucker

A group of five high-profile jurors, lead by Louisa Hutton of Berlin-based Sauerbruch Hutton, have issued a statement through the (SIA) denying any support of Morphosis’ appointment to design the 7132 Hotel in Vals, Switzerland. According to reports, the jury had “significant question marks” regarding the chosen design, ultimately leading to the high-profile competition’s termination when the jury failed to recommend a winner. This seems to be a result of the client and jury’s inability to find common ground.

Video: Bach Comes to Life within the Walls of Peter Zumthor’s Bruder Klaus Field Chapel

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Take a moment to enjoy German-Korean musician Isang Enders play Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 within the sacred, charred interior of Peter Zumthor’s Bruder Klaus Field Chapel.

Peter Zumthor & LACMA Unveil Revised Museum Design

Model of the new design. Image © Atelier & Partner

Peter Zumthor and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) have revealed a revised design for the museum’s $650 million new home on Museum Row in Los Angeles. The new design still features the sinuous glass and grey concrete slab raised a full story off the ground, but under the new proposal part of the museum would bridge Wilshire Boulevard to touch down on what is currently a car park opposite.

The change comes in response to criticisms that the previous design would put the neighboring La Brea Tar Pits at risk, threatening their status as an active paleontological research site and a popular tourist destination. The shape of the new design removes this risk by withdrawing from the boundary with the adjacent tar pits, without compromising on floor space in the museum.

More on the revised design after the break

Peter Zumthor Selects Paraguayan Architect Gloria Cabral as Protégé

with protege Gloria Cabral. Image Courtesy of Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative

Peter Zumthor has chosen to mentor Paraguayan architect Gloria Cabral as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. Cabral, a partner at Asuncion-based Gabinete de Arquitectura, will spend a year collaborating with the Swiss architect, who has dedicated his expertise in an effort to learn, create and grow with the young talent.

Describing Cabral’s work to reveal an original spirit, Zumthor stated: “In Gloria’s work and attitude I sense a keen interest in the physical experience of architecture, which makes it exciting for me to collaborate with her.”

OASE #91: “Building Atmosphere” With Peter Zumthor and Juhani Pallasmaa

Courtesy of OASE

In OASE’s 91st editionBuilding Atmospheres, the elusive craft of creating, capturing and understanding ‘atmosphere’ in architecture is explored in a carefully chosen collection of themed essays by Peter ZumthorJuhani Pallasmaa and philosopher Gernot Böhme. Zumthor, famous for his 1996 text Atmospheres, identifies and discusses “a series of themes that play a role in his work in achieving architectonic atmosphere”. Alongside this, the OASE team have visited his studio and interviewed him about the current relevance of his writing and how he captures ‘atmosphere’ in his design process. 

Material Inspiration: 10 Projects Inspired by Wood

To celebrate the launch of ArchDaily Materials, our new product catalog, we’ve rounded up 10 awesome projects from around the world that were inspired by one material: . Check out the projects after the break…

Peter Zumthor: Seven Personal Observations on Presence In Architecture

Known for his superior design and unparalleled craftsmanship, the 2009 Pritzker Laureate and 2013 Gold Medal Award winner, Peter Zumthor, was recently invited to speak at the School of Architecture in University. In a lecture titled “Presence in Architecture – Seven Personal Observations,” Zumthor shared some of the inspirations behind his greatest projects, giving us insight into his poetic, intelligent, (and some might say) “nearly divine” mind.

Zumthor’s Seven Points on “Presence,” after the break…

Peter Zumthor to Serve as Rolex Arts Initiative Architecture Mentor

, Architecture mentor. Image © Keystone / Christian Beutler

Swiss architect Peter Zumthor has been selected as the next architecture mentor for the . He will be the second architect to participate in the program, following Kazuyo Sejima’s inauguration in 2012. After choosing a protégé early in 2014, Zumthor will spend a year offering his expertise to support, guide, and collaborate with the young talent. 

Expressing his desire to learn from the mentorship, Peter Zumthor stated: “I agreed to be a mentor because I believe in the professional exchange of people of different backgrounds, talents, skills and age. I highly appreciate the fact that Rolex offers funding for this professional artistic exchange and research outside of everyday economics.”

Zumthor: “Apostle of the Real”

at the Steilneset Memorial.. Image © Andrew Meredith

In an article for Vanity Fair Paul Goldberger unravels the Swiss Mystique surrounding Peter Zumthor’s personality and work, describing him as a “cross between Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Proust, with perhaps a tiny bit of Bob Dylan thrown in.” With completed projects few and far between, but executed with intense experiential thought and craftsmanship, the article explores how Zumthor’s motives has informed his rigorous attitude to architecture. Having recently been awarded the RIBA Gold Medal, the “cult following” that Goldberger described in 2001 seems to only be getting stronger. You can read the full article here.

A Photographer’s Journey Through Zumthor Valley

© Felipe Camus

Our friend and architectural photographer Felipe Camus recently embarked on an architectural pilgrimage to the valley of the Rhein. Located in the Graubünden region in , the valley boasts many of the seminal works of Pritzker Prize Laureate , all within a 60-kilometer radius. Born in Graubünden himself, Zumthor designed the works in relation to their location and time by paying special attention to details and materials. As a result, the works all present Zumthor’s unparalleled skills of craftsmanship and his uncompromising integrity. 

Join us for a special AD Architectural Mountain Guide, including a detailed map, photos and descriptions of Zumthor’s works, after the break….

AD Classics: Saint Benedict Chapel / Peter Zumthor

© Felipe Camus

The Saint Benedict Chapel, located in the village of , Graubünden, was designed by the Pritzker Prize Laureate in 1988. The modest, human-scaled exterior of the chapel encapsulates the beauty and simplicity of Zumthor’s works, while the interior showcases his unparalleled craftsmanship.

In Discussion: Peter Zumthor Speaks with Michael Govan About the LACMA Redesign

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In a crowed auditorium in central Los Angeles on Sunday, Swiss architect sat down with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art () director Michael Govan to kickstart the opening of The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA. The hour-long discussion, captured in the video above, began with an insightful overview of Zumthor’s most famous works before moving to an in-depth conversation about the underlying ideas that drive Zumthor’s design for the highly anticipated LACMA overhaul.

The project – already six years in the making and yet still in its schematic phase – plans to replace LACMA’s aging cluster of three pavilions with an elevated, 21st century facility. A detailed project summary, alongside images captured from Zumthor’s 6 ton, concrete exhibition model, is available for you to review here on ArchDaily. Enjoy! 

A First Look at Peter Zumthor’s Design for the LACMA

© 2013 Museum Associates / LACMA

Coming at a crucial time in which is at risk of “losing its reputation as a center for innovative architecture,” museum director and Swiss architect Peter Zumthor have unveiled preliminary plans for what they hope will be the new home of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). If approved, this $650 million proposal – nearly six years in the making – would replace the dated William Pereira-designed campus and its 1986 Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates-designed addition with an organically-shaped, energy efficient, dark-grey concrete and glass Zumthor original.

More information after the break, including Peter Zumthor’s project description…

Peter Zumthor Proposes $650 Million Overhaul for LACMA

© Flickr user Diana Lee Photography

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) will soon be rolling out the red carpet to welcome Swiss legend Peter Zumthor to the Golden State. The prized architect’s debut will mark the opening of “The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA,” which will unveil the ambitious, $650 million plan to transform the LACMA’s “Byzantine maze of buildings and hallways” into an experience-based “village” of curvaceous modern glass structures that will produce more energy than it uses.

“The idea is to make it permeable by people,” LACMA CEO and director says, who has been working with Zumthor for over four years on the proposal.

Royal Gold Medal 2013 Lecture: Peter Zumthor

It’s a rarity that the architecture community is presented a chance to indulge in a . Often referred to a architecture’s reclusive “man of mystery”, the Swiss legend has produced a handful of projects so eloquently designed that they have captured the attention of the world. In honor of his mastery, RIBA awarded Zumthor with the institute’s prestigious Royal Gold Medal in February. In this video, he gives the 2013 Royal Gold Medal Lecture at the RIBA, focused on the theme of Presence in Architecture. 

Peter Zumthor awarded RIBA Royal Gold Medal 2013

© Gerry Ebner

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 , 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.”

Continue to learn more.