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Peter Zumthor

116 Best Architecture Books for Architects and Students

09:30 - 11 September, 2018
116 Best Architecture Books for Architects and Students, © Leandro Fuenzalida | ArchDaily
© Leandro Fuenzalida | ArchDaily

Architecture, while a profession that is very visibly and tangibly realized, has deep wells of research, thought, and theory that are unseen on the surface of a structure. What urges architects to design the way they do? What are their motivations, their affiliations, their interests? For practitioners and students alike, books on architecture offer invaluable context to the profession, be it practical, inspirational, academic, or otherwise. So, for those of you looking to expand your bookshelf (or confirm your own tastes), we have gathered a broad list of 116 architectural books that we consider of interest to those in the field. 

In compiling this list, we sought out titles from different backgrounds with the aim of revealing divergent cultural contexts. From essays to monographs, urban theory to graphic novels, each of the following either engage directly with or flirt on the edges of architecture.

The books on this list were chosen by each of our editors, and are categorized loosely by type. Within their categorization, they are organized alphabetically. Read on to see the books we consider valuable to anyone interested in architecture. 

Peter Zumthor's Kolumba Museum Uses Local Materials to Reframe Historic Experience

08:30 - 14 August, 2018
Peter Zumthor's Kolumba Museum Uses Local Materials to Reframe Historic Experience, © Laurian Ghintiou
© Laurian Ghintiou

Peter Zumthor's quiet, technically pristine, and beautifully detailed work has long been an inspiration for architects. His Kolumba Museum, located in Cologne, Germany, a city that was almost completely destroyed in World War II, houses the Roman Catholic Archdiocese’s collection of art which spans more than a thousand years. Zumthor’s design delicately rises from the ruins of a late-Gothic church, respecting the site’s history and preserving its essence.

© Laurian Ghintiou © Laurian Ghintiou © Laurian Ghintiou © Laurian Ghintiou + 21

Spotlight: Peter Zumthor

05:30 - 26 April, 2018
The Therme Vals. Image © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG
The Therme Vals. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

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.

Bruder Klaus Field Chapel. Image © Samuel Ludwig Steilneset Memorial. Image © Andrew Meredith Saint Benedict Chapel. Image © Felipe Camus Kunsthaus Bregenz. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/heyitschili/4163419615'>Flickr user heyitschili</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a> + 16

Celebrate World Water Day With These 20 Designs That Feature Water Elements

08:00 - 22 March, 2018
© Fernando Guerra | FG + SG
© Fernando Guerra | FG + SG

March 22 is World Water Day, an annual international celebration launched and organized by the United Nations. The goal of the day is to raise awareness about a wide range of water-based issues from around the world. This year’s theme is “Nature From Water”, which invites everyone to think about how nature can provide solutions to the water challenges we face today.

To celebrate World Water Day this year, we’ve rounded up 20 of our favorite projects that utilize water as a central design feature. Whether it be Zumthor's Thermal Vals or Chritso and Jeanne-Claude's Floating Piers, water has been playing an important role in architectural design and in demarcating the boundaries of nature against our built environment.

@ Anders Sune Berd © Felipe Díaz Contardo © Ahmad El Mad © Yao Li + 21

Who Has Won the Pritzker Prize?

08:00 - 25 February, 2018
Who Has Won the Pritzker Prize?, Pritzker Prize 2017 Ceremony: Ryue Nishizawa, Tadao Ando, Kazuyo Sejima, Rafael Aranda, Glenn Murcutt, Carme Pigem, Ramon Vilalta, Toyo Ito, Shigeru Ban. Image © The Hyatt Foundation / Pritzker Architecture Prize
Pritzker Prize 2017 Ceremony: Ryue Nishizawa, Tadao Ando, Kazuyo Sejima, Rafael Aranda, Glenn Murcutt, Carme Pigem, Ramon Vilalta, Toyo Ito, Shigeru Ban. Image © The Hyatt Foundation / Pritzker Architecture Prize

The Pritzker Prize is the most important award in the field of architecture, awarded to a living architect whose built work "has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity through the art of architecture." The Prize rewards individuals, not entire offices, as took place in 2000 (when the jury selected Rem Koolhaas instead of his firm OMA) or in 2016 (with Alejandro Aravena selected instead of Elemental); however, the prize can also be awarded to multiple individuals working together, as took place in 2001 (Herzog & de Meuron), 2010 (Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA), and 2017 (Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, and Ramon Vilalta of RCR Arquitectes).

The award is an initiative funded by Jay Pritzker through the Hyatt Foundation, an organization associated with the hotel company of the same name that Jay founded with his brother Donald in 1957. The award was first given in 1979, when the American architect Philip Johnson, was awarded for his iconic works such as the Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut.

The Pritzker Prize has been awarded for almost forty straight years without interruption, and there are now 18 countries with at least one winning architect. To date, half of the winners are European; while the Americas, Asia, and Oceania share the other twenty editions. So far, no African architect has been awarded, making it the only continent without a winner.

Fantastic Images of Architecture in the Fog: The Best Photos of the Week

12:00 - 3 December, 2017
Fantastic Images of Architecture in the Fog: The Best Photos of the Week, © Richard Barnes
© Richard Barnes

Taking photographs in fog can be an experience as chaotic as it is enchanting. Although working with this phenomenon can be risky, since fog dramatically modifies the available light and the atmosphere of a scene, if you know how to take advantage of it, the result can lead to perfect photographs. Below is a selection of 10 images from prominent photographers such as Kevin Scott, Richard Barnes, and Koichi Torimura.

© Fernando Guerra © Ligang Huang © Sophie Mayer © Cornbread Works + 10

Explore Peter Zumthor's 1986 Shelter for Roman Ruins in Quiet Solitude

04:00 - 22 November, 2017

In 1986, Peter Zumthor completed one of his first projects: a shelter over an Ancient Roman archaeological site in Chur, (Graubünden, Switzerland). Now over three decades old, this film by ArcDog captures the building and the preserved excavations that it sits around with a quiet sophistication. With only timber lamella to allow in light and ventilative air, the project stands as a testament to Zumthor's sensitive architectural approach.

LACMA Reveals New Renderings and Drawings of Zumthor-Led Expansion Project

14:00 - 27 October, 2017
© Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner / The Boundary
© Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner / The Boundary

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has unveiled new renderings and drawings for their $600 million transformation designed by Atelier Peter Zumthor, as an environmental impact report for the project has been released.

Courtesy of LACMA © Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner / The Boundary © Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner / The Boundary © Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner / The Boundary + 15

LACMA and Lincoln Center Reveal Divergent Plans

10:15 - 5 October, 2017
LACMA and Lincoln Center Reveal Divergent Plans, Exterior rendering of the LACMA renovation. Image © Atelier Peter Zumthor
Exterior rendering of the LACMA renovation. Image © Atelier Peter Zumthor

Two large-scale US cultural projects have, this week, announced major updates relating to the renovation of existing buildings – and both involve, to a greater and lesser extent, American business magnate, media mogul, and philanthropist David Geffen.

One—the Lincoln Center's Geffen Hall in New York City—has scrapped plans for a $500 million renovation to be led by Heatherwick Studio and Diamond Schmitt Architects, while another—Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), for which a renovation is being led by Peter Zumthor—has seen a pledge by Geffen of $150 million toward its $600 million price-tag.

Peter Zumthor's Kolumba Museum Through the Lens of Rasmus Hjortshøj

09:30 - 10 August, 2017
© Rasmus Hjortshøj
© Rasmus Hjortshøj

In this series of images, photographer Rasmus Hjortshøj has captured the Kolumba Museum by renowned architect Peter Zumthor in Cologne, Germany. The museum, constructed atop the ruins of a Gothic church destroyed during World War II, was a response to a competition that aimed to protect the remains of the Gothic work and create a space to house the art collection of the archbishopric of Cologne. In his winning design, Zumthor fused the existing ruins with modern architecture ideal for religious art in an elegant and minimalist way.

With his photographs, Rasmus Hjortshøj offers a tour of Zumthor's design, portraying the building within its urban context, while examining the architect's dedication to detail.

© Rasmus Hjortshøj © Rasmus Hjortshøj © Rasmus Hjortshøj © Rasmus Hjortshøj + 29

10 Hard-To-Reach Masterpieces And How To Get There

08:00 - 23 July, 2017
10 Hard-To-Reach Masterpieces And How To Get There

Visiting architectural masterpieces by the greats can often feel like a pilgrimage of sorts, especially when they are far away and hard to find. Not everyone takes the time to visit these buildings when traveling, which makes getting there all the more special. With weird opening hours, hard-to-reach locations and elusive tours we thought we’d show a selection from our archives of masterpieces (modernist to contemporary) and what it takes to make it through their doors. Don’t forget your camera! 

9 Incredibly Famous Architects Who Didn't Possess an Architecture Degree

09:30 - 19 June, 2017

Had the worst jury ever? Failed your exams? Worry not! Before you fall on your bed and cry yourself to sleep—after posting a cute, frantic-looking selfie on Instagram, of course (hashtag so dead)—take a look at this list of nine celebrated architects, all of whom share a common trait. You might think that a shiny architecture degree is a requirement to be a successful architect; why else would you put yourself through so many years of architecture school? Well, while the title of "architect" may be protected in many countries, that doesn't mean you can't design amazing architecture—as demonstrated by these nine architects, who threw convention to the wind and took the road less traveled to architectural fame.

23 Examples of Impressive Museum Architecture

08:00 - 18 May, 2017

Designing a museum is always an exciting architectural challenge. Museums often come with their own unique needs and constraints--from the art museum that needs specialist spaces for preserving works, to the huge collection that requires extensive archive space, and even the respected institution whose existing heritage building presents a challenge for any new extension. In honor of International Museum Day, we’ve selected 23 stand-out museums from our database, with each ArchDaily editor explaining what makes these buildings some of the best examples of museum architecture out there.

Peter Zumthor Unveils Designs for Beyeler Foundation Addition

14:00 - 4 May, 2017
Peter Zumthor Unveils Designs for Beyeler Foundation Addition, House for Art and Pavilion (right-hand side), View from the Berower Park. Image Courtesy of Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner
House for Art and Pavilion (right-hand side), View from the Berower Park. Image Courtesy of Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner

Atelier Peter Zumthor has revealed conceptual designs for their CHF 100 million ($100 million USD) addition of the Beyeler Foundation in Riehen, Switzerland, just outside of the city of Basel. Located on land formerly off-limits to the public, the extension will add an array of new event and gallery spaces to the existing museum, designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop and opened in 1997.

Drawing from the “village-like character” of Riehen, the addition will consist of three, relatively small new buildings that blend harmoniously into the museum’s nature-filled setting: a stoic building for administration and service, a glass pavilion for events, and a grand House for Art. Together, their arrangement will help to create a subtle link between the new and old areas of the site.

House for Art, View from the Iselin-Weber Park. Image Courtesy of Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner House for Art, Exhibition Space. Image Courtesy of Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner House for Art and Pavilion, View from the west along the Bachtelenweg in the direction of Baselstrasse. Image Courtesy of Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner House for Art, View from the Iselin-Weber Park. Image Courtesy of Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner + 6

New Renderings Show Major Changes to Zumthor's LACMA Redesign

16:00 - 10 April, 2017
New Renderings Show Major Changes to Zumthor's LACMA Redesign, © Atelier Peter Zumthor
© Atelier Peter Zumthor

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has released the newest renderings of their planned Atelier Peter Zumthor-led $600 million renovation, and one thing in particular stands out: the building is no longer black.

While the third major revision to the design sees the building retain the overall shape of its previous iteration, many aspects have changed, including how the floating mass touches the ground and the facade’s new sandy color.

© Atelier Peter Zumthor © Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner/The Boundary © Atelier Peter Zumthor © Atelier Peter Zumthor + 10

Think You Know Swiss Architecture? Think Again.

04:00 - 3 April, 2017
Think You Know Swiss Architecture? Think Again., "Which vernacular building or spatial situation do you find inspiring for your approach to architecture?". Image © S AM Schweizerisches Architekturmuseum / Swiss Architecture Museum
"Which vernacular building or spatial situation do you find inspiring for your approach to architecture?". Image © S AM Schweizerisches Architekturmuseum / Swiss Architecture Museum

In one of his 1922 travel essays for the Toronto Star Ernest Hemingway wrote, in a typically thewy tone, of “a small, steep country, much more up and down than sideways and all stuck over with large brown hotels built [in] the cuckoo style of architecture.” This was his Switzerland: a country cornered in the heartland of Europe and yet distant from so much of its history. A nation which, for better or worse and particularly over the course of the 20th Century, has cultivated and become subject to a singularly one-dimensional reputation when it comes to architectural culture and the built environment.

Smarch / Project: Trash Gap - Compos(t)ition / Location: Bern (BE). Image © Smarch. Courtesy S AM Schweizerisches Architekturmuseum / Swiss Architecture Museum Bayer Klemmer / Project: Drying Tower Burgweiherweg / Location: St. Gallen (SG). Image © Christoph Hurni. Courtesy S AM Schweizerisches Architekturmuseum / Swiss Architecture Museum Atelier Archiplein / Project: Gneiss Quarry /  Location: Tessin. Image © Stefano Zerbi. Courtesy S AM Schweizerisches Architekturmuseum / Swiss Architecture Museum Baserga Mozzetti / Project: Stable / Location: Valle di Blenio (TI). Image © Giovanni Buzzi. Courtesy S AM Schweizerisches Architekturmuseum / Swiss Architecture Museum + 17

Thom Mayne, Ando, Kuma & Zumthor Contribute Rooms for "House of Architects" Hotel in Vals

12:00 - 14 February, 2017
Thom Mayne, Ando, Kuma & Zumthor Contribute Rooms for "House of Architects" Hotel in Vals, Morphosis' Stone Room 1. Image © Global Image Creation – 7132 Hotel, Vals
Morphosis' Stone Room 1. Image © Global Image Creation – 7132 Hotel, Vals

Four top architects – Thom Mayne (Morphosis), Tadao Ando, Kengo Kuma and Peter Zumthor – have been tapped to contribute designs for the new “House of Architects” at the 7132 Hotel in Vals Switzerland. The latest addition to the hotel, The House of Architects features a lobby and entrance also designed by Morphosis Architects, and 7 room designs centered around a single material.

Morphosis' Wood Room 1. Image © Global Image Creation – 7132 Hotel, Vals Morphosis' Wood Room 1. Image © Global Image Creation – 7132 Hotel, Vals The new entrance pavilion, designed by Morphosis Architects. Image © Global Image Creation – 7132 Hotel, Vals The 7132 Hotel, with Peter Zumthor's Therme Vals. Image © Global Image Creation – 7132 Hotel, Vals + 16

A Capsule of "Almost-Forgotten History": Surface Magazine Visits Peter Zumthor's Allmannajuvet Zinc Mine Museum

12:00 - 30 January, 2017
A Capsule of "Almost-Forgotten History": Surface Magazine Visits Peter Zumthor's Allmannajuvet Zinc Mine Museum , © Per Berntsen
© Per Berntsen

Below is an excerpt of the cover story of this month’s Surface magazine: an in-depth look at Peter Zumthor’s recently completed Allmannajuvet Zinc Mine Museum, featuring exclusive quotes from the architect himself.

The first thing you notice when you arrive at the new Allmannajuvet Zinc Mine Museum outside Sauda, Norway, is that it looks nothing like a museum—or at least, what we think of as a museum. On a steep site framed by elegantly rugged walls of dry stone, three black, shed-like and zinc-roofed structures look far too small to house exhibits, much less hordes of visitors. But this isn’t a museum in the conventional sense. Consisting of a service building with restrooms, a café, and a gallery—all perched on tall timber supports—it’s more a memorial to those who toiled in the zinc mine that operated on the site from 1881 to 1899 in the spectacularly beautiful Allmannajuvet Ravine. The mine and its accompanying trail were long ago abandoned, the original buildings a distant memory.