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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 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

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.”

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