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Peter Zumthor

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Can Anyone Win in Architecture Criticism? An Appeal for a "New Sincerity"

09:30 - 9 November, 2015
Can Anyone Win in Architecture Criticism? An Appeal for a "New Sincerity"

In the mid-1980s, after literature had long been held hostage by postmodernist irony and cynicism, a new wave of authors called for an end to negativity, promoting a "new sincerity" for fiction. Gaining momentum into the 1990s, the movement reached a pinnacle in 1993 when, in his essay E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction, pop-culture seer David Foster Wallace, a proponent of this "new sincerity," made the following call to action: “The next real literary ‘rebels’ in this country might well emerge as some weird bunch of anti-rebels, born oglers who dare somehow to back away from ironic watching, who have the childish gall actually to endorse and instantiate single-entendre principles... These anti-rebels would be outdated, of course, before they even started. Dead on the page. Too sincere. Clearly repressed. Backward, quaint, naive, anachronistic. Maybe that’ll be the point. Maybe that’s why they’ll be the next real rebels. Real rebels, as far as I can see, risk disapproval. The old postmodern insurgents risked the gasp and squeal: shock, disgust, outrage, censorship, accusations of socialism, anarchism, nihilism. Today’s risks are different. The new rebels might be artists willing to risk the yawn, the rolled eyes, the cool smile, the nudged ribs, the parody of gifted ironists, the ‘Oh how banal.'"

Architecture, ever in debt to the styles and ideas of other art forms, could learn a thing or two now from the resuscitation of American fiction at the turn of the millennium. It too is enduring an identity crisis, mired by pessimism and uncertainty - a reality made painfully clear this past January when a New York Times Op-Ed by Steven Bingler and Martin C. Pedersen, How to Rebuild Architecture, divided camps and made the design world fume. In the editorial, the authors spoke vehemently of an architectural profession that has become mired by egos and been disconnected from public needs. Things quickly got ugly, critics wrestled with critics and subsequently the public got involved. What no one seemed to take into account is that this type of hounding is at the core of the problem. In its current landscape the discipline has struggled with its past, been deferential to its present, and wrestled with the uncertainty of its future. In a moment when we have become addicted to despondency, can anyone win?

Zumthor and Mendes da Rocha Join AMERICAnodelsud Conference in Paraguay

16:00 - 26 March, 2015
Zumthor and Mendes da Rocha Join AMERICAnodelsud Conference in Paraguay

AMERICAnodelsud 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

00:00 - 12 February, 2015
Jurors Deny Support of Morphosis’ Vals Hotel Appointment , Therme Vals / Peter Zumthor. Image © CC Flickr User Richard Tucker
Therme Vals / Peter Zumthor. 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 Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects (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

00:00 - 28 October, 2014

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

00:00 - 7 July, 2014
Peter Zumthor & LACMA Unveil Revised Museum Design, Model of the new design. Image © Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner
Model of the new design. Image © Atelier Peter Zumthor & 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

Render of the view West along Wilshire Boulevard. Image © Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner Render of the view East along Wilshire Boulevard. Image © Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner Model (image taken from model of original design). Image © 2013 Museum Associates / LACMA Model (image taken from model of original design). Image © 2013 Museum Associates / LACMA + 8

Peter Zumthor Selects Paraguayan Architect Gloria Cabral as Protégé

00:00 - 22 May, 2014
Peter Zumthor Selects Paraguayan Architect Gloria Cabral as Protégé, Peter Zumthor with protege Gloria Cabral. Image Courtesy of Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative
Peter Zumthor 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

00:00 - 14 January, 2014
OASE #91: "Building Atmosphere" With Peter Zumthor and Juhani Pallasmaa, Courtesy of OASE
Courtesy of OASE

In OASE's 91st edition, Building Atmospheres, the elusive craft of creating, capturing and understanding 'atmosphere' in architecture is explored in a carefully chosen collection of themed essays by Peter Zumthor, Juhani 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

01:00 - 11 December, 2013
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: wood. Check out the projects after the break...

Peter Zumthor: Seven Personal Observations on Presence In Architecture

01:00 - 3 December, 2013
Peter Zumthor: Seven Personal Observations on Presence In Architecture , Zumthor in Tel Aviv. Image © Yael Engelhart for Ha'aretz
Zumthor in Tel Aviv. Image © Yael Engelhart for Ha'aretz

Known for his superior design and unparalleled craftsmanship, the 2009 Pritzker Laureate and 2013 RIBA Gold Medal Award winner, Peter Zumthor, was recently invited to speak at the School of Architecture in Tel Aviv 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...

Saint Benedict Chapel. Image Courtesy of Felipe Camus http://www.archdaily.com/419367/. Image Courtesy of Felipe Camus Brauder Klaus Field Chapel. Image © Samuel Ludwig © Jose Fernando Vazquez + 20

Peter Zumthor to Serve as Rolex Arts Initiative Architecture Mentor

00:00 - 24 October, 2013
Peter Zumthor to Serve as Rolex Arts Initiative Architecture Mentor , Peter Zumthor, Architecture mentor. Image © Keystone / Christian Beutler
Peter Zumthor, Architecture mentor. Image © Keystone / Christian Beutler

Swiss architect Peter Zumthor has been selected as the next architecture mentor for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. 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"

00:00 - 6 September, 2013
Zumthor: "Apostle of the Real", Peter Zumthor at the Steilneset Memorial.. Image © Andrew Meredith
Peter Zumthor 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

01:00 - 28 August, 2013
A Photographer's Journey Through Zumthor Valley, Courtesy of Felipe Camus
Courtesy of 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 Switzerland, the valley boasts many of the seminal works of Pritzker Prize Laureate Peter Zumthor, 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….

Courtesy of Felipe Camus Courtesy of Felipe Camus Courtesy of Felipe Camus Courtesy of Felipe Camus + 137

AD Classics: Saint Benedict Chapel / Peter Zumthor

01:00 - 25 August, 2013
AD Classics: Saint Benedict Chapel / Peter Zumthor, Courtesy of Felipe Camus
Courtesy of Felipe Camus

The Saint Benedict Chapel, located in the village of Sumvitg, Graubünden, was designed by the Pritzker Prize Laureate Peter Zumthor 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.

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

00:00 - 5 June, 2013
© 2013 Museum Associates / LACMA
© 2013 Museum Associates / LACMA

Coming at a crucial time in which Los Angeles is at risk of “losing its reputation as a center for innovative architecture,” museum director Michael Govan 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 five 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, 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

00:00 - 6 May, 2013
Peter Zumthor Proposes $650 Million Overhaul for LACMA, LACMA © Flickr user Diana Lee Photography. Used under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>Creative Commons</a>
LACMA © Flickr user Diana Lee Photography. Used under Creative Commons

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 Michael Govan says, who has been working with Zumthor for over four years on the proposal.

Royal Gold Medal 2013 Lecture: Peter Zumthor

00:00 - 30 March, 2013

It’s a rarity that the architecture community is presented a chance to indulge in a Peter Zumthor lecture. 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

18:34 - 27 September, 2012
Peter Zumthor © Gerry Ebner
Peter Zumthor © 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 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

16:15 - 11 July, 2012
Peter Zumthor © Andrew Meredith
Peter Zumthor © Andrew Meredith

It has been confirmed by Studio Wim Wenders 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.