Peter Zumthor & LACMA Unveil Revised Museum Design

Model of the new design. Image © Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner

Peter Zumthor and the 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 , 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.”

Happy Birthday Peter Zumthor

at the Steilneset Memorial. Image © Andrew Meredith

Sharing a birthday with I.M. Pei, Peter Zumthor (April 26, 1943) turns 71 years old today. Known for his sensuous materiality and attention to place, the 2009 Pritzker Laureate is one the most revered architects of the 21st century.

Although Zumthor has completed far fewer projects than architects of comparable renown, his work has had a resounding impact on the world of architecture. His buildings are mysterious and enticing, but show no signs of style or formal preconceptions. His concern is with context, experience and materiality, not aesthetic. Perhaps this is his most significant contribution to architecture: a truly meaningful architecture of place and experience.

We suggest checking out Zumthor’s “Seven Personal Observations on Presence In Architecture” and this Photographer’s Journey Through Zumthor Valley. Also, make sure to explore all of Zumthor’s works on ArchDaily:

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 RIBA Gold Medal Award winner, , 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”

Peter Zumthor at the Steilneset Memorial.. Image © Andrew Meredith

In an article for Vanity Fair 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 on Sunday, Swiss architect Peter Zumthor sat down with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) director 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

LACMA © Flickr user Diana Lee Photography

The County Museum of Art (LACMA) will soon be rolling out the red carpet to welcome Swiss legend 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 Michael Govan 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 Peter Zumthor . 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, 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 () 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.”

Continue to learn more.

Correction to Wim Wenders and Peter Zumthor Rumor

© Andrew Meredith

It has been confirmed by Studio and Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partners that the news of Wim Wenders devoting his new 3D documentary film on architecture to Peter Zumthor was in fact a rumor. Although Wenders will be conducting an artistic interview film with Zumthor for the upcoming 2012 Venice Biennale, it has nothing to do with his feature documentary. The Biennale interview film and the 3D documentary on architecture are two separate projects that were mistakenly combined by the source article. We apologize for the confusion.

With that begin said, we look forward to both the Biennale film and the 3D documentary, as the internationally renowned director never seems to disappoint.

Photograph: Andrew Meredith

Video: Serpentine Gallery / Peter Zumthor


In light of the announcement that Herzog & de Meuron and Ai WeiWei will be designing this year’s Pavilion at the , we take a look back at last year’s Pavilion and the architect behind it, .

Last summer London’s Serpentine Gallery unveiled a new architectural feat in the form of the celebrated Pavilion, built to stand for just three months. In the past few years esteemed designers Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry and Olafur Eliasson have exercised their creative muscles, and last year Swiss architecht Peter Zumthor steps up to the plate to create a relaxing space to encourage conversation. Here, Crane.tv finds out what inspired Zumthor.

Steilneset Memorial / Peter Zumthor and Louise Bourgeois, photographed by Andrew Meredith

© Andrew Meredith

In memory of those persecuted in the seventeenth-century Finnmark Witchcraft Trials, the Steilneset Memorial rests along the jagged coastline of the Barents Sea in , Norway. Photographer Andrew Meredith has shared with us his photo series documenting this masterpiece created by a unique collaboration between the world-famous Swiss architect (Basel, 1943) and the influential contemporary artist Louise Bourgeois (Paris, 1911-2010).

Zumthor simply describes his collaboration with Bourgeois in an interview with ArtInfo as the following, “I had my idea, I sent it to her, she liked it, and she came up with her idea, reacted to my idea, then I offered to abandon my idea and to do only hers, and she said, ‘No, please stay.’ So, the result is really about two things — there is a line, which is mine, and a dot, which is hers… Louise’s installation is more about the burning and the aggression, and my installation is more about the life and the emotions [of the victims].”

Continue reading to view the photographs and learn more about the Steilneset Memorial.