Door 23: Peter Zumthor

A lot of contemporary architects set out to sensationalism and try to overwhelm the viewer with impressive buildings. A welcome change in modern architecture is therefore the Swiss architect Peter Zumthor.

He is known for his minimalist, but at the same time romantic approach. He was born in 1943 in Basel and made his apprenticeship in his dad's, who was a cabinet-maker, workshop. The profession's precision influenced him strongly and is higly visible in his work.

After finishing his apprenticeship, he studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Basel and also shortly architecture and industrial design at the Pratt Institute in New York as an exchange student.

After graduating, he became a conservationist architect in 1968 for the Department for the Preservation of Monuments of the canton of Graubünden. This experience helped him gaining experience of the various materials, especially how they work and fit together.

In 1979 he opened his own studio in Haldenstein, Switzerland, where he still works with a rather small team of 15 people. His architectural approach earned him many accolades, most notably the Pritzker Architecture Price in 2009. He is known for buildings like the Therme Vals, Kunsthaus Bregenz or the Kolumba Museum in Cologne.