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Spotlight: Herzog & de Meuron

Spotlight: Herzog & de Meuron
Spotlight: Herzog & de Meuron, VitraHaus. Photography by Iwan Baan © Vitra
VitraHaus. Photography by Iwan Baan © Vitra

Led by Jacques Herzog (born 19 April 1950) and Pierre de Meuron (born 8 May 1950), most descriptions of Herzog & de Meuron projects are almost paradoxical: in one paragraph they will be praised for their dedication to tradition and vernacular forms, in the next for their thoroughly modern innovation. However, in the hands of Herzog & de Meuron this is no paradox, as the internationally renowned architectural duo combine tradition and innovation in such a way that the two elements actually enhance each other.

VitraHaus. Photography by Iwan Baan © Vitra 1111 Lincoln Road. Image © Nelson Garrido, Reprinted with permission from MBeach1, LLLP. Parrish Art Museum. Image © Matthu Placek Messe Basel New Hall. Image Courtesy of Messe Basel + 29

Courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron
Courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron

Before establishing Herzog & de Meuron in 1978, both Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron studied architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) with Aldo Rossi and Dolf Schnebli. Early recognition came for projects such as the Blue House and the Stone House, but a particular breakthrough for the firm came with their 1987 Ricola Storage Building in Laufen, Switzerland. Today, their most recognized works include their renovation of London's Tate Modern in 2000; VitraHaus, one of the best-known components of the Vitra Campus; and the Bird's Nest Stadium, which took center stage at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The Beijing National Stadium. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Beijing_national_stadium.jpg'>Wikimedia user Peter23</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>
The Beijing National Stadium. Image © Wikimedia user Peter23 licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
1111 Lincoln Road. Image © Nelson Garrido, Reprinted with permission from MBeach1, LLLP.
1111 Lincoln Road. Image © Nelson Garrido, Reprinted with permission from MBeach1, LLLP.

Together, Herzog & de Meuron were awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2001, the first time the prize was awarded for the work of a partnership rather than a single architect. At the time of their award, they were praised for the innovative nature of their buildings' facades: Jury Chairman J. Carter Brown said that "one is hard put to think of any architects in history that have addressed the integument of architecture with greater imagination and virtuosity." However, in recent years their style has shifted to focus more on the structure and depth of their buildings, frequently displaying exposed floorplates and, where possible, layered and permeable facades.

Perez Art Museum. Image Courtesy of Arcophotos
Perez Art Museum. Image Courtesy of Arcophotos
Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. Image © Iwan Baan
Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. Image © Iwan Baan

Check out Herzog & de Meuron's completed works via the thumbnails below, and more coverage of the firm after those:

VitraHaus. Photography by Iwan Baan © Vitra 1111 Lincoln Road. Image © Nelson Garrido, Reprinted with permission from MBeach1, LLLP. Parrish Art Museum. Image © Matthu Placek Messe Basel New Hall. Image Courtesy of Messe Basel The Tate Modern. Image © Darrell Godliman The 2012 Serpentine Pavilion. Image © Julien Lanoo Perez Art Museum. Image Courtesy of Arcophotos Signal Box. Image © Nelson Garrido Arena do Morro. Image © Iwan Baan Miu Miu Aoyama Store. Image © Nacasa & Partners Museum der Kulturen Basel. Image Courtesy of Museum der Kulturen Basel M.H. de Young Museum. Image © Iwan Baan Tenerife Espacio de las Artes. Image © Iwan Baan Slow Food Pavilion - Milan Expo 2015. Image © Marco Jetti The Beijing National Stadium. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Beijing_national_stadium.jpg'>Wikimedia user Peter23</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> Matmut Atlantique Stadium. Image © Iwan Baan Ricola Kräuterzentrum. Image © Iwan Baan Chäserrugg, Toggenburg. Image © Katalin Deér Zellwegerpark Uster. Image © Erica Overmeer Musée Unterlinden Extension. Image © Ruedi Walti Blavatnik School of Government. Image © Iwan Baan Feltrinelli Porta Volta. Image © Filippo Romano Tate Modern Switch House. Image © Iwan Baan Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. Image © Iwan Baan Castagnola. Image © Dani Hunziker + 29

From Facades to Floor Plates & Form: The Evolution of Herzog & de Meuron

Siza's Iberê Camargo Foundation and Herzog & de Meuron's 1111 Lincoln Road Win Inaugural MCHAP Award

Why Herzog & de Meuron's Hamburg Elbphilharmonie Is Worth Its $900 Million Price Tag

Critical Round-Up: Herzog & de Meuron's Tate Modern Switch House

#donotsettle Takes Us Inside Herzog & de Meuron's Hamburg Elbphilharmonie During Its Opening

Timelapse of Herzog & de Meuron's Latest Completed NYC Skyscraper Takes us to New Heights

Photos Capture the Luxurious Life Inside Herzog & de Meuron's Beirut Terraces

Herzog & de Meuron's Museu Blau in Barcelona Through the Lens of Denis Esakov

Herzog & de Meuron's BBVA Headquarters in Madrid Through Rubén P. Bescós' Lens

Video: 1111 Lincoln Road / Herzog & de Meuron

Sammlung Goetz Munich / Herzog & de Meuron

The Berlage Archive: Jacques Herzog (1998)

Brick Monkey Creates LEGO Replica of Herzog & de Meuron's Elbphilharmonie from 20,000 Pieces

KXIV Designs Adidas Ultraboost Sneakers Inspired by Herzog & de Meuron's Beijing 'Bird Nest'

References: The Pritzker Prize and Wikipedia.

About this author
Rory Stott
Author
Cite: Rory Stott. "Spotlight: Herzog & de Meuron" 08 May 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/370152/happy-birthday-pierre-de-meuron/> ISSN 0719-8884
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VitraHaus. Photography by Iwan Baan © Vitra

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